COAST Transportation and Asotin County Community Services recently received a grant from the Dan Thompson Memorial Fund to provide rides to individuals with developmental disabilities. The rides are free, or by donation, to individuals living in Asotin, Garfield, or Whitman Counties. The funding helps COAST Transportation provide expanded hours to those with developmental disabilities to request rides on the weekend, as well as Monday through Friday.
“Transportation is important to all of us,” says Cynthia Tierney, Director at Asotin County Community Services in Clarkston. “We rely on transportation to get to work, school, and socialize with friends and family. We are thrilled to have COAST partner with us to provide increased independence and inclusivity for our developmentally disabled population.”
Many people with developmental disabilities rely on friends or family to get around. But these options limit where, when, and how people get where they want to go. “COAST Transportation, based out of Colfax, Washington, utilizes drivers around the region to help people with developmental disabilities become more independent,” says Craig VanTine, Contracts & Grant Manager at COAST Transportation. “Individuals have the ability to go shopping, get to medical appointments, or even go see a movie, all on their own schedule, and this funding makes it possible.”
Individuals can request a ride by calling 1-800-967-2899 or 509-397-2935. Rides can be for recreational or other purposes with the goal of assisting individuals with disabilities to avoid isolation due to lack of transportation. A 48-hour notice is required in most cases.
Dan Thompson Funding is available through the Developmental Disabilities Council of Washington in memory of Dan Thompson, an individual with developmental disabilities, who enjoyed a 14-year career with Microsoft. Dan was also an advocate for people with developmental disabilities.
COAST Transportation offers rides to all people regardless of ability through other funding sources. Their mission is to support rural mobility needs through a demand-response ride service. COAST utilizes volunteer and paid drivers with accessible vehicles. In Washington, there is no income or age qualification. In Idaho, transportation is limited to elderly and disabled persons.
If you’d like to be a volunteer driver for COAST utilizing your own vehicle, or a COAST issued vehicle, please contact Craig or Deanna at 1-800-967-2899. Mileage is reimbursed at the 2023 government rate (65.5 cents per mile) and training is provided for volunteer drivers. Volunteer drivers who already transport a family member and are willing to transport other individuals with disabilities may also apply to be a volunteer driver and receive mileage reimbursement.
For more information, visit coacolfax.org