Archived Story

I-Ride making house calls

Published 9:46am Friday, October 19, 2012

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

COURTLAND—The I-Ride bus service now picks up residents at their homes in Courtland, Boykins, Branchville, Hunterdale, Newsoms and Sedley.

For $1, riders can take the bus to Walmart in Franklin. Once at the Walmart shopping center, passengers may connect to the Franklin I-Ride, which goes to 26 locations in the city.

Sponsored by Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, I-Ride is not limited to any particular age group. Youth 12 and under ride free with an adult.

For the home service, passengers must call the Franklin office at 516-8556 a day ahead for pickup.

Times are limited.

Buses will be in Courtland from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; Boykins, Branchville and Newsoms, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays; and Hunterdale and Sedley, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Thursdays.

The service has been a help to Buck Copeland, 77, of Courtland.

“I had to pay people to give me rides,” Copeland said.

The same goes for Elsie Copeland, 80, of Courtland, who no longer drives.

Other people who said they’ve been enjoying the expanded service are Juanita Davis, 54, Margaret Joyner, 52, and Duke Ricks, 72, all who have been using I-Ride for about five years on its general route to Courtland.

Although Jim Crawl of Sedley said he and his wife have not yet had the time to use the service, he’s looking ahead.

“I want this to grow for my neighbors, friends and also myself when the time comes,” said Crawl, 66, who retired and moved to Western Tidewater with his wife eight years ago. Previously they had taken public transportation in Virginia Beach.

Crawl also said he thinks that many county people are relying on friends and families.

“Any of which could go away at a moment’s notice,” he said. “People are going to have to acknowledge that it’s valuable in the community and start using it in order for it to be successful.”

Kim Slaughter, transportation supervisor for Western Tidewater, said a feasibility study was done to determine the need.

“We got so many calls,” Slaughter said. “Originally the routes were set up by times, and the buses would go around in neighborhoods in Courtland.”

Slaughter said the service could expand.

“It’s up to people in the community to tell me what they need for transportation,” he said. “You have to court people and teach them what public transport can offer.”

Slaughter estimates that 75 people a day use the I-Ride buses for the home service.

“Easily 20 for Courtland, and three to four a week for Boykins and Newsoms,” he said.

“Right now he wants to implement Capron, and that will start soon,” added Janice Hicks, a driver and Slaughter’s assistant. “That would be the same days as Courtland.”

I-Ride has been serving Western Tidewater for five years. Money from private foundations, the county and city, as well as the $1 fees pay for it.

  • skooch

    Wal-Mart should be paying the bill for this. The customers are being delivered right to their front door.

    Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    What else are people supposed to use their lifetime of earnings/savings/social security/retirement income for? Leave it for Johnny Jr. to buy a car after the funeral? No, it is to pay for the expenses of life! It is called “free enterprise” and it is a traditional American value. Sucking off the rest of us is NOT a traditional American value. Fill a need (such as transportation) and charge a fee. If you don’t want to pay the fee, then you better be nice to someone, so they may give you a ride for free. Look after their kids, or cook for them, or do SOMETHING besides take. You tell me when did mooching off the rest of us become acceptable like it is today? Where I come from, you expect to do without some things, to make sure YOU can pay for the things YOU need. Poverty class nowadays expects to live like the Middle Class! The poor expect to have everything now. That is messed up. (Not speaking here about crippled, mentally deficient, blind, etc.) Bitter? Yessir, and there are a bunch of us, and we are carrying this country.

    Suggest Removal

  • cqbarbie

    Boy, does Liberty with Responsibility sound bitter! Whether you know or care, a lot of people have to pay someone or even a friend or neighbor $20 plus dollars to take them anywhere they go, even if the person driving is heading that way anyhow. How many times have you offered to take someone, especially the elderly to the store or to the bank or church for that matter? No, I do not feel people should get something for nothing but neither do I feel it is right for these people to be gouged either! The I-Ride has offered some freedom to those who might not be able to get around otherwise. I hope I do not have to ever depend on Liberty with Responsibility for any kind of help!

    Suggest Removal

  • Liberty With Responsibility

    “I had to pay people to give me rides,” Copeland said.

    God forbit a grown adult person should have to pay for a ride to town, or that they should “rely on friends and family” for transportation! Sure, just stick it to the young families trying to make enough to raise their children through their taxes. You oldsters played the grasshopper all your productive years, and now, because you’re aged, you think you deserve to have everything without paying your OWN money for it. Did you get your “free” cell phone, too? Real good “Americans.”

    Suggest Removal

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