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Transportation Forum Explores Options for Low-Income Residents of San Bernardino County

United Way 211 Meeting on Transportation

Nearly 100 Attendees Learn About Transportation Options for Low-Income Residents of San Bernardino County

Rancho Cucamonga, CA – On Tuesday, March 27, 211 San Bernardino County hosted a forum on transportation access and mobility solutions to highlight services available in the region. Eighty-five attendees from the non-profit and local community came together to learn about challenges and options throughout the county.

For hundreds of thousands of car-less people in San Bernardino County, alternative modes of transportation are a crucial component for connecting to necessary services. According to Gary Madden, Director of 211 San Bernardino County, referring vulnerable people to the services they need does no good if they don’t have access to transportation. “40% of our 65,000 callers who we serve indicate that they do not have their own transportation. We can give the best referral in the world yet it fails if the client can’t get there.”

The forum featured presentations by speakers from organizations committed to providing solutions to this problem. Sandy Benson from Mountain Transit spoke about the limitations faced by remote communities spread throughout the mountainous areas of San Bernardino County. Her organization provides bus services to and from regions such as Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Lucerne Valley, and Big Bear.

Aaron Moore from Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) discussed subsidized rideshare programs that alleviate the financial burden placed on disadvantaged communities. The reduced cost allows people to get where they need to go for minimal cost. Marcus Garcia of Omnitrans focused on the specialized services for seniors and people with disabilities who are unable to ride the public bus, such as a volunteer driver program that matches community members with cars with people in need of transportation.

The forum resulted in a greater understanding of where to refer vulnerable populations in need of transportation. “Veterans frequently have a lengthy period of adjustment and need numerous services to heal physically and emotionally. I’ve spoken with countless veterans who need better access to transportation and this conference has connected me with several resources I didn’t know existed,” said Rose Martinez of 211 San Bernardino County’s Vetlink program.

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