Ruiz, Independent Living Partnership Announce $1.5 Million Grant to Fund Free Rides for Individuals with Mobility Issues
HEMET – A $1.5 million grant has been awarded to improve access to transportation for individuals with mobility issues throughout Riverside County, Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. , CA-36, and the Independent Living Partnership announced Friday.
Over the next three years, the grant will help individuals with mobility issues access free rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, and other essential services through the Independent Living Partnership’s Transportation Reimbursement and Information Project (TRIP). In the 36th District, Hemet, San Jacinto, Beaumont, Banning, and Desert Hot Springs residents will benefit from the funding.
This April, the Independent Living Partnership was awarded Measure A grant funding from the Riverside County Transportation Commission, which maintains highways and public transportation services across Riverside County. The $1.5 million grant will help fund Independent Living Partnership’s TRIP, a program that provides mileage reimbursements for volunteers to drive neighbors who are unable to use public transportation due to age, illness, or disability.
“Without access to reliable transportation, everyday essential activities like going to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment become impossibly difficult,” Dr. Ruiz said. “I am thrilled to have worked with the Independent Living Partnership to deliver this important service for our communities. With this funding, individuals with mobility issues can access the services and activities that contribute to a healthy and full life. I will continue fighting to improve access to affordable transportation in our region so that everyone can enjoy the freedom and empowerment of living independently.”
The Independent Living Partnership (ILP) was organized in 1989 to actively advocate for the Americans with Disabilities Act and worked hard to gain support for the bill prior to its passage into law. ILP was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1991.
The TRIP program was established in 1993 as a partnership between the Independent Living Partnership, the Riverside County Office on Aging, and the Riverside County Transportation Commission. To date, TRIP has provided more than two million free, escorted trips for more than 13,000 Riverside County residents. In the last year alone, the TRIP program has provided 139,105 one-way trips and over two million miles of escorted transportation for members of our community.
“The TRIP volunteer driver, mileage reimbursement service in Riverside County is a reliable, accessible, affordable, convenient, cost effective service that is able to support user needs when adequate transportation is not available in other ways,” said Ivet Woolridge, Chief Operating Officer of the Independent Living Partnership. “TRIP has been providing this special service for older adults, persons with disabilities, sick and chronically ill, isolated and homebound, low-income residents of the County since it was created by the Independent Living Partnership, with the Riverside County Office on Aging and the Riverside County Transportation Commission, in 1993. TRIP has had to be funded by grants and has so far been successful in providing an average of 375 free, escorted trips, each day for thousands of Riverside County residents. We are excited that this grant renewal will help keep many hundreds of volunteer friends and drivers providing the critical transportation support needed by our clients through 2024.”
Angela K., a Riverside County senior. said, “Without this service, I would be trapped at home, unable to make my appointments on time. “Thank you, it has helped me mentally feel less trapped and secluded…Having my own person drive me helps me feel safe and less vulnerable and less exposed to danger or getting lost.”
- Raul Ruiz: Raul Ruiz
- Wheelchair: Pixabay