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FACT NEWSLETTER SUMMER 2020
Coordinated response to COVID-19 Pandemic
 
In March when the state implemented sheltering in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, all the transportation providers in San Diego county were faced with plummeting demand for rides.  At the same time essential needs including testing for Covid-19, rides to shelters for those at risk, food and grocery deliveries for seniors and students sheltering at home, escalated.

The entire transportation community including nonprofits and volunteer driver services stepped forward to meet the needs by quickly adapting the service models to accommodate nontraditional services.  Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) were proactive in allowing flexibility in the use of grant funds for providing these "new", and critical transportation services.  Transit agencies in San Diego took the lead in establishing the safety practices and sanitation protocols that helped other operators to continue their transportation operations as safely as possible.

In April FACT entered into agreements with the County of San Diego, and 211, to provide streamlined responses to the growing requests for rides to transport individuals or deliver food and groceries.  FACT is grateful to be a part of the close knit community of transportation service providers who are supporting each other while addressing the critical needs in our communities.
FACT's Emergency Services:
Free RideFACT Transportation for essential needs
 
In order to assist with the Covid-19 crisis, FACT is offering free transportation for San Diego County residents for any essential need until the stay at home order is lifted.  Seniors, persons with disabilities, students, veterans, medical workers and other residents who need assistance, may call FACT at 888-924-3228 between 8am and 3pm, Monday-Friday, to request free transportation anywhere in San Diego County.  Drivers and riders are required to wear a face covering while being transported.
County Health & Human Services Agency Shelter Trips
 
In March 2020, FACT began to transport homeless individuals to and from shelters/hotels and other sites for quarantine and testing for Covid-19 as requested by County staff.  The trips are ongoing.
FACT, County Aging & Independence Services (AIS),
211 San Diego and the 
Food Bank Collaborate on
Meal Delivery Trips

 
FACT's vendors currently pick up boxed food Monday-Friday mornings and deliver to various residences throughout the county. The deliveries are coordinated by 211. For more information or assistance please contact 211.
AAA driver Christopher prepares a food delivery.
Special Weekly CAM COVID-19 Response Meetings
 
SANDAG and FACT have been hosting  special Council on Access and Mobility (CAM) Covid-19 teleconferences weekly, to provide updates, share resources and best practices, and discuss service needs.  These meetings provided a forum for transportation providers to coordinate services and share ideas for providing non-traditional services in response to stay-at-home and social distancing orders.  It was great to see San Diego's specialized transportation community come together to provide essential transportation services, such as food delivery - to limit the travel and social interaction of older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.  The meetings began March 31st and will continue until needed.

For more information on CAM and membership please visit  https://factsd.org/council-on-access-mobility-cam/. If you would like to be included on the CAM email, please email Budd Anderson, at http://banderson@factsd.org.

                     

 
FACT recently provided its first solo feline ride. Pet owner Gail  desperately needed to get her cat, CocoBella to the vet.  Because the vet did not allow owners into the office due to social distancing, Gail dropped off CocoBella and returned home.  AAA picked up CocoBella and safely delivered her back home later that day, a gesture greatly appreciated by her owner! 
New Accessible Vehicles in Pipeline
 
FACT was awarded funding through FTA's Bus and Bus Facilities competitive grant program via Caltrans' State application to purchase new accessible vehicles.  FACT is planning to purchase 13 Low-Floor Accessible Minivans and 3 New Class B StarCraft Allstar Cutaway Buses with the grant funds.  These vehicles will be used for FACT's specialized transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities in San Diego County.  Stay tuned for an update on when the vehicles will be delivered and available for shared services.  FACT currently has 21 vehicles in its fleet.  If you are a specialized transportation provider who needs accessible vehicles and would like to work with FACT's Brokerage, please reach out to Budd at http://banderson@factsd.org to discuss our Vehicle Sharing Program.
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