OCEANSIDE – For Chula Vista residents Jack and Rose, it was an uneventful trip to the grocery store, but for Facilitating Access to Coordinated Transportation, a San Diego County nonprofit, it was cause for celebration.
Jack, 94, and Rose, 76, discovered RideFACT, a FACT ride service, when their daughter was looking for local transportation options for her elderly parents. Now, the couple uses the service at least once a week to get to medical appointments, grocery shopping and church.
On June 9, Jack and Rose unwittingly helped RideFACT reach an important milestone: the 100,000th ride!
According to Jack, before they discovered RideFACT, they did not use other transportation services because they could not afford them or they had difficulty accessing them.
“Without RideFACT we would be stuck here in the house,” said Jack. “Because of RideFACT, I can go see my doctor so I can get better.”
Jack and Rose aren’t the only ones. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day in the United States, they are in good company.
In July 2017, AARP reported that the demand for senior transportation will likely increase as our “country’s 78 million boomers, now ages 49-67, shed their car keys, as men typically outlive their driving days by seven years; women outlive theirs by 10.”
Forecast data in the San Diego Association of Government’s Coordinated Plan indicates that seniors aged 85 and older will increase by 60 percent in 2050.
Established as the region’s Consolidated Transportation Services Agency in 2006, FACT began partnering with the San Diego Association of Government and local nonprofits to establish a coordinated transportation delivery system for seniors and persons with disabilities. As fewer nonprofit transportation service providers were available back then, FACT began adding for-profit partners to establish an effective transportation brokerage.
RideFACT was first implemented as a pilot project in January 2012 that served Rancho Bernardo, Poway and Escondido. Rides were purchased, in bulk, at reduced rates, from private and nonprofit taxi-type providers.
Through this innovative brokerage model, RideFACT offered curb-to-curb services significantly below private taxicab rates. The success of the brokerage enabled FACT to launch RideFACT countywide later that year, in July 2012.
Today, RideFACT has grown into a dial-a-ride service that operates in all 18 cities in San Diego County and serves residents at least 60 years of age, people with disabilities and others with mobility challenges. FACT, which is based in Oceanside, does provide service to Fallbrook. As with all areas in San Diego County, trips may be limited based on the availability of contracted service providers and funding capacity.
To ensure effective utilization of all mobility options in the county, FACT provides referrals to other public, community and private transportation resources before offering rides.
RideFACT is funded by a mix of local, state, and federal sources administered by San Diego Association of Governments, including the TransNet Senior Mini-Grant program, the Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 grant program and the California Transportation Development Act. Contracted services are paid for by the agencies.
There is no application or wait time for using RideFACT transportation. One-way fares on RideFACT transportation begin at $2.50 for travel up to five miles and are capped at $10 for trips longer than 20 miles. Transportation is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Reservations may be requested one to seven days in advance, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., weekdays, by calling (760) 754-1252 or (888) 924-3228.