Since COVID-19 vaccines became available, Boone County Senior Services has offered county residents free rides to and from vaccination clinics.
Anita Bowen, executive director of BCSSI, said few know the organization’s transportation program offers services to all county residents, not just seniors.
“It’s a program that has been going on since our inception,” Bowen said. “And what many people don’t know is that through the years, it became a program that’s available for the public, so it’s a public transit for Boone County. We sometimes say we’re like the city bus for our county since we don’t have another bus system.”
The program is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Residents must make an appointment to use one of the program’s estimated 20 vehicles, which include disability-accessible minivans and minibuses called small transit vehicles, among other vehicles. To schedule an appointment, residents can call the organization’s Lebanon number, 765-482-5220, its Zionsville number, 317-873-8939, or visit the organization’s website, booneseniors.org.
Bowen said residents should call as soon as they know they will need to use the program, ideally a few weeks out if scheduling transportation to and from a vaccination clinic. But she also advises residents to call if they need transportation on short notice.
“We will pick them up at their home and take them to their destination,” Bowen said. “So, we are going to do medical appointments, shopping, school, to visit someone, wherever they need to go.”
Vehicles are sanitized before and after every ride, and all residents and drivers are required to wear masks. Typically, seniors 60 and older are asked to make a donation, and younger residents are charged a fee.
“We love doing that,” Bowen said. “BCSSI has made sure we keep doing as much as possible to help our community members.”