(FULTON, N.Y.) – The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC) is establishing a volunteer driver program in Oswego County.
The VTC has opened a dispatch and volunteer coordination office at 808 W. Broadway, Fulton, in the Catholic Charities building. The office will recruit, train and coordinate volunteer drivers throughout Oswego to support Child Protective Services, medical and other transportation needs not currently being served by public transit.
In addition, the Oswego County office will look to provide coordination with the other transportation options in the county to help remove barriers that exist for transportation for employment and other related transportation issues for rural county residents. VTC works hand-in-hand with public transit, building from its successful partnership in St. Lawrence County, Jefferson and Lewis counties.
The office is led by Program Director Doreen Salcido, who was chosen for the position in February. Ms. Salcido, who has been with the VTC for seven years, started in the nonprofit organization’s St. Lawrence County office as a part-time dispatcher.
“Doreen is well-suited for this position as her background within VTC has covered just about every functional area,” said Mr. Purington. “She’s a true transportation professional and will make a real difference for Oswego County.”
“I am beyond excited to take on the role as Program Director in Oswego County,” Ms. Salcido said prior to opening of the Fulton office. “Our hope is to mimic all the programs offered in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, including a charitable program offering rides to senior citizens who have no other means of transportation to get to medical appointments and even to the grocery store.”
“We are excited to be here and serving the communities of Oswego County,” she added.
Volunteers are background checked using the same process a foster parent would incur, and provided with a thorough orientation. While drivers are considered volunteers, nontaxable mileage reimbursement is provided.
In addition to volunteer drivers, the VTC operates a mobility management program, working with rural public transportation and overseen by Mobility Manager Monty Flynn. The program is a customer-focused approach to creating and implementing transportation solutions — both on an individual and system level. It leverages all available transportation resources, focusing on how to combine access to those resources to meet mobility needs affordably, efficiently, and effectively.
“Oswego County has great human service organizations and county departments looking for ways to work together,” said Mr. Flynn. “I look forward to achieving our strategic goals together and working with all our Oswego County public transit partners to ensure everyone in need will have access to transportation services.”
Further, Mr. Flynn makes visible improvements to the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the transit in Oswego County community while “assisting with the design and promotion of transit oriented developments increasing access to employment and educational opportunities,” said Mr. Purington.
The VTC was awarded the bid in January 2020 to provide mobility management services in Oswego County. Through its expertise and proven track record with volunteer transportation management and mobility management in St. Lawrence County, the same objectives will be sought in Oswego County.
For more information about VTC services provided in Oswego County, contact the Fulton office at 315-714-9134.
ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER TRANSPORTATION CENTER
The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. Over the last 20 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, grocery shopping, and other destinations for residents.
In 2019, our volunteer drivers provided 30,356 charitable trips over 912,866 miles in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties, an increase in miles of 17.47% over 2018. Of those miles, 424,290 originated in Jefferson County, 141,190 in Lewis County, and 347,386 in St. Lawrence County.
The staff, Board of Directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.
For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Watertown at 315-788-0422, in Canton at 315-714-2034, or Fulton at 315-714-9134. To learn more, visit www.VolunteerTransportationCenter.org.