Program helps city’s seniors get around

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The W Rail Line will open a whole new world of transportation options, and a new program in Lakewood wants to make sure older residents can take advantage of it.

The People on the Move program has been launched with the goal of promoting self-sufficiency for the city’s residents 55 and older by expanding their transportation options.

“The objective is to provide training and positive trip options, which will help older adults to safely and comfortably use public transportation to expand their travel,” said Edie Richey, older adult program supervisor with Lakewood. “Public transportation provides freedom to travel spontaneously and independently and offers more options at lower costs.”

The program is a collaboration between Lakewood’s Older Adult Programs and Lakewood Rides, the Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (DRMAC), Via Mobility Services and RTD.

Richey said People on the Move is modeled on Via Mobility Services, which is a travel training program from Boulder, and the work DRMAC has been doing.

According to Kelli Schlicher, project coordinator with DRMAC, the nonprofit has been providing people with transportation resources since its creation in 2005.

“We work with a number of providers to improve travel efficiency, and to make people feel more comfortable traveling,” she said.

The way People on the Move works is those interested in learning about travel options will meet with Teresa Koch, the program’s travel trainer, and will have a one hour training session that will include information on bus routes and RTD’s schedules.

Then participants will go on a four-hour small group day trip to any locations in Arvada, Lakewood, Golden, Denver and Wheat Ridge.

Richey said that the program was created because there is a lack of transportation services for seniors, and the city wants to get them more involved in travel.

“There’s a growing senior population in the city, and many of them still want to be able to travel,” she said.

Since the program started in September, People on the Move has helped around 28 residents learn how to navigate public transit and been introduced to other organizations that can help.

“There has really been a lot of interest, and people so far seem to really like it,” Richey said.

For more information on People on the Move, call 303-987-4820 and ask for Edie Richey.