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Tech update keeps transportation program running smoothly

Written by admin. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness, Senior Living

Published on August 06, 2014 with No Comments

PCACS bus driver Margaret Strehler gets her tablet ready to use.

Our transportation program is reaching a new level with a recent tech update.

With the assistance of a grant from NIRPC, our transportation software and scheduling program, RouteMatch, is on track for a massive upgrade. This includes tablets for our bus drivers.

Through the tablets, bus drivers will be able to receive turn-by-turn GPS instructions on the shortest route as well as receive updated service calls or changes to the day’s schedule through real-time scheduling.

The computer will help the driver figure out the most efficient way and best way to pick up and drop off passengers. It will be easier for our drivers to keep track of their information such as miles and times for pick-ups and drop-offs. Hopefully, this will allow us to increase the number of people we give rides to and save gas.

The software upgrade will also include a reminder call to scheduled riders the day before, a service they can opt out of.

With about 40 no-shows a month, we hope the reminder calls will help cut that down. Fewer no-shows will save gas and our drivers’ time and would allow us to fill up the schedule with other riders.

Our transportation program is a county-wide door-to-door service. To schedule a ride, contact the transportation office at 219-462-4302.

Support for ramp program

The recent Porter County Taste of Care event put our ramp program in the spotlight.

The food competition that brings together area senior communities for the fundraising event not only showcased the chefs’ culinary skills but also helped raise funds for Honor Flight Chicago and Porter County Triad ramp projects in Porter County.

Ron Donahue, director of business development at Prompt Ambulance and vice president of Triad, has been building on the event’s roots since launching it in 2009.

He said Porter County Triad is supporting the ramp program through Porter County Aging and Community Services as it is a reflection of Triad’s mission to serve seniors.

“Triad is a partnership between organizations and law enforcement that finds ways to help seniors in the community,” Donahue said. “Our board is comprised of 16 people and we look at what seniors might need. There is no cookie cutter mold for needs. We feel the ramps are a really good fit and can make a big impact.”

We continue to see how the ramp program is vitally important as it assists seniors and disabled individuals to leave their homes for doctor appointments and other critical services.

We are able to install ramps with the generous help of community donations as well as the volunteers who offer their hands-on help. The Taste of Care not only raises funds for our program, but also brings it into the spotlight, raising awareness on the importance of having the basic ability to be able to enter and exit your home.

With ramps being built about once a month in Lake County, Donahue sees the Taste fundraiser as a way to bolster support for the program.

“The more community support and more volunteers we have, the more of an impact there can be,” he said. “Being in the EMS industry, we see how the disabled and elderly can’t get in and out of their homes … it’s a freedom we take for granted. Two or three stairs can literally be holding them prisoner.”

For more information, visit www.portercountyacs.org.

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