City of Pittsfield RSVP Program – Pittsfield, MA
Wheels for Wellness exemplifies two promising practices: cross-sector collaboration and building on existing assets. When deciding what type of transportation program to pilot, the partners selected a volunteer driver program because it built on what they identified to be the county’s assets: an older population, a high rate of car ownership, and a strong regional culture around looking out for each other. They then looked to existing volunteer driver programs in the region to see how they might scale these local and regional initiatives. A regional volunteer driver program run by an all-volunteer healthcare facility in Southern Berkshire County inspired them to serve the entire county. They then identified the Pittsfield RSVP program as having potential to scale up its operations.
NCMM's Promising Practices Database
Service: Public & Senior Transportation
Provider Organization: OCCK Public Transportation
Funders: Salina City Center
Other Partners: Salina Senior Center, Mobility Manager
Description: On the Go: Enticing Seniors to Try Salina’s Public Transportation program began in 2022 as a partnership between the Salina Senior Center, OCCK Transportation and the Mobility Manager for North Central Kansas. The goal of the program is to increase the number of senior citizens using Salina’s public transportation system.
Impact: The project started with conversations between the Mobility Manager and Director of the Senior Center about the needs of seniors living in Salina, Kansas. The discussion centered around the idea of encouraging the use of public transportation among Salina’s senior citizens, including recipients of the Meals on Wheels program. Valentine’s Day was a targeted launch date to leverage the energy of the holiday with the delivery of goodie bags filled with program information, free transit vouchers, and chocolate candy. Outreach was targeted to 250 Meals on Wheels participants, and an additional 350 seniors participating in Senior Center activities. Special color-coded vouchers were printed so the program could track the utilization rate of specific populations. The vouchers were purchased by the Salina Senior Center. On the Go provided incentives for seniors to travel within the community using either CityGo, the fixed route bus, or the complimentary para-transit service. Information was also provided to seniors about travel training opportunities organized by the Mobility Manager. Conversations are in the works about the sustainment of the program and future activities.
Collaborating with other partners on outreach activities expands the number of encounters and reach of the marketing effort. About 600 seniors were informed about transportation options in Salina. Within two weeks of launching the service more than 50 coupons were used. Since the successful implementation, the Senior Center and the Mobility Manager have continued their partnership and held additional conversations about next steps and future plans for continued senior engagement and education.