UCHRA Unveils MyRide Volunteer Transit Program

January 23, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

The Transportation Department of Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency has unveiled a new senior-friendly, volunteer-based program designed to provide additional transportation opportunities to area residents 60 and older.

MyRide Upper Cumberland is a volunteer-based transportation program, focusing on providing “door-through-door” service to seniors and simultaneously increasing independence for those clients. MyRide programs already exist in numerous regions within the state.

MyRide is designed for seniors who are able to walk on their own or with the assistance of a cane or walker. Our trained, caring volunteers assist clients with getting to and from appointments and errands. Differing from traditional transportation services, volunteer drivers will also assist clients to and from the vehicle, to their destination – the door-through-door component. Volunteers use their own personal vehicle to transport seniors to various appointments or errands.

By offering an additional layer of personalized care, MyRide Upper Cumberland allows clients to maintain a level of independence that may have otherwise been difficult to achieve and provides families peace of mind knowing their loved ones are being assisted by trained and monitored volunteers.

In order to receive MyRide services, clients pay a $25 annual membership fee. This annual fee includes the cost of the first three trips. Additional trips thereafter cost $2 each and $1 per each additional stop requested. All trips are pre-paid, and volunteers collect no money.

MyRide has purchased additional auto, medical, and liability insurance coverages for all program volunteers; providing additional peace of mind for drivers and clients alike. In addition, state and federal volunteer protection laws offer another layer of safety for MyRide volunteer drivers. Volunteers also receive training to ensure they are properly prepared to begin transporting clients. All volunteers will receive a t-shirt and vehicle decal to ensure they are easily identified by clients.

With the announcement of the new program, UCHRA has added two new staff members to oversee the development and management of the program – Carey Davenport, MyRide Regional Coordinator, and Megan Templeton, Volunteer Coordinator for MyRide Putnam County.

In order to become a MyRide Upper Cumberland volunteer, drivers must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid Tennessee driver’s license, a clean driving record, proof of insurance, complete a background check and a four-hour training class. All MyRide drivers are asked to volunteer a minimum of three hours per month.

A ribbon cutting ceremony, officially kicking off the new program, is slated for Monday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Cookeville Senior Center, located at 186 S. Walnut Ave.in Cookeville. The public is invited to attend the event and learn more about the MyRide Upper Cumberland program.

For more information about MyRide Upper Cumberland, call (833) MY-RIDE or visit www.myrideuctn.com.

About MyRide
MyRide TN is an expanding, sustainable, senior-friendly volunteer transportation service that has taken root in Tennessee. Volunteer drivers use their personal vehicles to carry older Tennesseans to a variety of destinations, including medical appointments and grocery stores. More than 227,437 rides were provided with TCAD/Older Americans Act funding in 2017.

About Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency
The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) was established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1973 to be the delivery system for human resources in the fourteen counties of the region. The programs operated by UCHRA initially included job training and transportation. During ensuing years, the UCHRA has expanded to supply a wide range of services that use a combination of funds from federal, state and local organizations.