The new year is bringing new things for riders of SRC Transportation. This could not come at a better time, with our growing population of older adults in the metro area. More and more people are looking for help aging at home and transportation is a crucial issue.
Demand continues to grow for senior transportation and SRC is growing to meet the need. At the same time that demand has been increasing, transportation providers throughout the metro area have been facing driver shortages. For SRC, this isn’t just an issue of manpower, but of finding the right people. As Hank Braaksma, our Director of Transportation, says “We hire for heart. SRC can train for skills.”
We are excited to build our route capacity from our qualified pool of drivers. Because of this, we are able to reach our maximum daily routes. By the end of the year, we will be running 26 routes a day on average, as compared to 22 routes earlier this fall. This should make it easier for us to accommodate more ride requests and meet the increasing demand.
We are excited to show off a new look for SRC Transportation in 2017. Our vehicles are getting a makeover. For the first time in our entire 38 year history, all our vehicles will sport a consistent design. This updated look reflects our metro-wide reach. The consistency of the design across all vehicles will help our riders recognize us, no matter what vehicle arrives. The new design also shows off our commitment to provide safe clean service and lists the other programs we offer. (Note that SRC Transportation does still operate A-Lift, and all A-Lift vehicles will remain as they are.)
Our riders will also soon be riding in new vehicles. The SRC fleet will include Prius V wagons, Subaru Foresters, MV1 accessible small vans, mid-sized Ford Transit vans with rear passenger entry and both smaller and large buses – the same size as a shuttle bus. This was made possible through several FTA capital grant awards dating back to 2013 and all coming together in 2016.
These vehicles will include technology that enables drivers to easily adjust trips through computer tablets, GPS for easy navigation and avoiding traffic, as well as on board camera systems to monitor conditions inside and outside our vehicles.
We are very excited for the new year and serving our riders even better with more routes and an upgraded fleet!