Brother, Can You Spare A Ride?

“06880” reader Elliott Fisher is a 1977 graduate of Staples High School. Except for 1992-2004, he has lived in the same house here since 1971.

Last August, Elliott suffered a mild stroke. He is no longer able to drive. He writes:

While I have wonderful friends who take me grocery shopping and to various doctor appointments, my greatest treat is the social aspect of being at the Westport Library.

I would like to be able to get there 4-5 times a week. Are there Westport residents who can drive me from my house off Greens Farms Road, near South Compo?

If so, please email consultants3000@gmail.com, or text 203-451-5087. Put “Help with a ride” in the subject line. Thank you!

That’s Elliott’s request, and it’s an important one.

Here’s mine: There must be many folks like Elliott in Westport in the same, um, boat. What transportation opportunities are available to them? (Besides the obvious — and costly — taxis.)

If you’ve got ideas, please click “Comments ” below. Knowledge = power.

Elliott Fisher

Elliott Fisher

 

14 responses to “Brother, Can You Spare A Ride?

  1. ITNCoastalCT – Independent Transportation Network of Coastal Connecticut – provides rides for seniors and people with disabilities. It is door to door and arm in arm one on one service by volunteer and paid drivers. The website is http://www.itncoastalct.org and the telephone is (203) 858-2001. The average ride cost within Westport is $8. It is a wonderful service – no bus or van. We are providing about 1,000 rides every week in the area. There are reduced fares for those who can’t afford the service.

  2. Create a facebook page where people can communicate their need and where those of us who are able to help can respond.

  3. Carmella Vega

    I am legally blind and lost my drivers license 4 years ago. Since then I have used ITN Coastal Ct for rides to various activities. Membership is $50 per year and the rides are $3.50 per pick up and $1.50 per mile. No money exchanges hands with the drivers, most of whom are volunteers. There is also no tipping. You merely place money into your account and your ride amounts are drawn from it. Each month you receive an accounting. The drivers are very nice and the cars are clean. You must reserve your ride 24 hrs in advance as same day rides incur an additional charge. Works for me!

  4. Christie Belknap

    Mr. Fisher should check out ITNCoastalCT, a local non-profit whose mission is to provide safe and affordable transportation to any person age 60 and over and visually impaired adults. He can go to the website at ITNCoastalCT.org to learn more about the organization and to find out how to become a rider/member. Great organization, providing a great and much-needed service!

  5. Susan Holden

    Hi Dan! I’d love to help him as well as any other westporters who are housebound;) I’m trying to get my whole office (Berkshire Hathaway) to get together and volunteer for these people when we have some extra time. I’m sure that there are brokers such as myself who have an extra hour or so a week or twice a week to help other westporters;) I will let u know after I throw it out at Monday’s office meeting. In the meantime I am in;)

    Have a great day! Susan

    Susan R. Holden Realtor, ABR Licensed in CT, NY & MA Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 272 Post Road East Westport, CT 06880 Cell: 203.209.2223 Email: sholden@bhhsNE.com WestportPropertySales.com

    The finest compliment I can receive is a referral from my friends and clients.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  6. cathy vogel

    we are at compo acres and would be happy to help when we can. just call us at 203-232-0240 when you need a ride.

  7. Fred Klein

    Uber is about half the cost of a taxi and very convenient – use “uberx” (not black car) for tgr best price.

  8. Lynn Goldberg

    Dan, have you forgotten about ITNCoastal CT (the Independent Transportation Network)?

    We are a non profit driving service for seniors and the visually disabled. We transport our members 24/7 using arm-in-arm , door to door service in Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Wilton and Norwalk. We drive for any reason, be it to the senior center, a medical appointment, a hair salon or just simply to a restaurant . We receive support from many community organizations and individuals . We are always looking for volunteers who can drive for us, and potential drivers can contact our offices at 203-858-2001 ( ask for Celeste).

    . Please read more about us on our website itncoastalct.org . >

  9. Susan Reilly

    I agree with Lynn and the others. The best option in town is a well organized group like ITN. It seems silly to me to reinvent the wheel when this service works so well for so many people. I drive for ITN when I can and it is a wonderful service. The coordinators email requests and the drivers who can help respond. Very well run.
    Sue Reilly

  10. Bobbi Essagof

    I know the library has many volunteers. Maybe talk to Maxine or Bill Derry at the the library to see if they can set something up. If it can be done Bill will find a way!

  11. The Town of Westport contracts with the Norwalk Transit District to provide Door-to-Door services for Westport residents with disabilities. A ride costs $3.00, or $2.40 if you buy a 10-pack. You can contact the Town of Westport Human Services or Norwalk Transit District for information about eligibility and tickets. Mr. Fisher – I hope this specific information helps.

    More generally, it is a shame that this and other transportation services paid for by the Town of Westport are not better known by all town residents. The Westport Transit District is trying to improve Westport’s transporation services and make them more visible to Westport residents by requesting funding for staff and marketing in this year’s budget, totaling $37,714. Unfortunately, in the entire town budget, these funds were the only funds cut out of the budget. Tomorrow night at the RTM’s budget meeting, the RTM will decide whether or not to restore these funds. We urge all Woog readers to contact the RTM today and request that this funding be restored. If you can, please come tomorrow night to the RTM’s meeting at Town Hall to show your support.

    For everyone’s benefit, I am attaching a statement submitted this week by the Green Task Force to the RTM in support of the Westport Transit District’s budget restoration. This statement, along with many other excellent statements made by the Downtown Merchants Association, the Westport Citizens Transit Committee, members of the Fairfield County Real Estate Board and many other individuals and groups demonstrate the strong desire in Westport to move forward now with building a stronger transportation future. On behalf of the Westport Transit District, I’d like to thank all residents and businesses for your support.

    – Jennifer Johnson, co-Director Westport Transit District

    ——————-
    Thursday, April 30 , 2015
    Subject: Green Task Force Letter of Support for Westport Transit District
    Dear RTM Members,
    The Green Task Force (GTF) supports the Westport Transit District (WTD) in its efforts to create and implement a sustainable transit system that is available to all of Westport’s residents.The GTF defines sustainability as the intersection of what reasonable people would consider economically responsible, environmentally sound and socially just. In essence, “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” To this end, we recommend that going forward priority should be given to the develop and implement a comprehensive, sustainable transit plan addressing transit infrastructure issues and alleviating potential transit opportunity losses.
    Our reasoning:

    1) Transport is vital to the lifeblood of any town,but in Westport it is particularly important, with a unique geography ¬ split urban centers (e.g. Saugatuck train station, downtown, Post Rd East, etc); a wide spread of residential areas; a diverse population (including elderly, housebound, commuters, students, etc). We also note the rich history of public transportation (700,000 ridership at its peak in the ‘70s) and the relative proximity to many other communities and opportunities.

    2) Westport can plan for the future or live in the past.Megatrends are pointing to increased use of public ridership and shared ownership models, reducing private car miles. Car ownership has in fact declined since it peaked at 1.1 cars per licensed driver in 2001. By 2008, the average number of miles driven in the United States fell for the first time in history, declining 3.6 percent from 2007. At the same time, the number of trips by public transportation rose to a 50¬year high.*
    Westport can structure itself to maximize this trend and stay ahead, or it can fall into the trap of designing a transport system for a car and oil¬dependent era of the past (or even worse, fail to design at all).

    3) Setting the right goal is critical.Having the right conversation means re¬engaging with all levels of town government and residents about Improving safety, livability and air quality while reducing congestion. It starts with placing sustainable transportation at the heart of the town’s overall sustainability goal, to decrease our carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of Net Zero. (Many towns and cities worldwide are choosing the year 2050 to achieve Net Zero). We want to create a town in which our children would choose to live, and to raise their children. For example, a clear goal of a highly connected, zero pollution, zero carbon transport system by 2050 would require us to plan holistically ¬ from the transit bus system to bike parking and bike lanes; from car charging and car sharing to footpaths and pedestrian walkways.

    4) Long term planning for a sustainable town starts now.We support a transit funding plan that includes considerations for the future, while being economically feasible and environmentally sound. This might require a paradigm shift, including the development of a Town Transit Commission.

    This Year Could Be Viewed As The Turning Point
    Now is the time to seize the strategic opportunity to put Westport on a leadership path to a highly connected, community that is truly sustainable and an even nicer place to live.
    Going forward, the Green Task Force would be happy to provide strategic support and guidance in whatever way is practical and useful.

    Yours sincerely,
    Members of the Green Task Force Submitted by:
    David Mann, Chair
    * Source: US Dept of State (http://photos.state.gov/libraries/cambodia/30486/Publications/everyone_in_america_own_a_car.pdf)

  12. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) is a non-profit organization that provides low cost rides (less expensive than a taxi) to adults 60+ and visually impaired persons. The service is membership based and gives arm-in-arm, door-through-door assistance to our riders. Our sustainability is greatly maintained by the generosity and commitment of our volunteer drivers. For more information about how to become a member/rider or to get involved by becoming a volunteer please visit our website at http://www.itncoastalct.org or call 203-858-2001 (press 8 to get in touch with the Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator).

  13. http://www.knowhowtogoct.org is a great resource to search by town for your transportation needs. Your local senior center is also a good starting point for information.