Have you ever seen one of the Care-A-Van fleet passing by and wondered if you may be eligible to ride? People who have never tried the Care-A-Van are encouraged to call the Senior Information and Caregiver Resource Center at 463-6177 (or, outside of Juneau, (866) 746-6177). The Resource Center staff can help complete the one-page Care-A-Van registration form and explain how the Care-A-Van works. For example, did you know that the passenger can bring a friend or family member with them until they feel comfortable riding it by themselves?
If a passenger has already signed up for Care-A-Van through the Senior Information Office, they can call in their reservation as soon as they know they’ll need the ride and the Care-A-Van staff will already have the information they need to schedule the ride. For example, the Care-A-Van staff will need to know where someone lives so they can pick them up there and they will already have that information from the registration form.
The Care-A-Van Transportation Service is for anyone over the age of 60 and for persons with disabilities of any age who are unable to use the Capital Transit bus due to their disability. The Care-A-Van is operated by Southeast Senior Services, a division of Catholic Community Service. The Care-A-Van drivers are professionally trained in defensive driving and passenger safety and service.
Although the service is primarily funded through a contract with the City and Borough of Juneau, the service also receives financial support from Medicaid Waiver revenues, a grant from the Alaska Division of Senior and Disabilities Services, and passenger contributions. Door-to-door transportation is available the same hours as the bus system: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. through 11:30 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The reservations office is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 2 to 4 p.m.
To arrange a ride, eligible people (or those advocating on their behalf) should call 463-6194. They will need to give the pick -up location, where they are going, and the desired date and time to reach the destination. Planning ahead and requesting a ride at least one day in advance will help one’s chances of getting the ride when he or she wants it. Passengers are also encouraged to reserve their return trips when making the initial reservation. For more information, call the Senior Information and Caregiver Resource Center at 463-6177.
• Mills is the program director for Southeast Senior Services.