Rural Rides gets people to and from workNeed help looking for a job or maybe even getting there?
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Need help looking for a job or maybe even getting there?
The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency is here to help.
The Rural Rides has been assisting qualified residents of Lake and Cook counties with rides to and from their jobs.
It can also help individuals with rides for job search and training. In 2009 it was estimated that they provided between 30,000 to 35,000 rides in the area.
“We’re just so happy with it,” said Marcia Mehle, the program manager. She said the program helps people mostly in the short term.
Among the options offered are free bus passes for those who need help getting to work or getting to a job interview. Arrowhead Transit bus tickets are provided when the route and schedule fit the individual’s needs.
There is also a ride-share program, called Work Buddy Assistance, where someone can give a co-worker a ride to work and be compensated for it.
Due to the large area that the program covers, Rural Rides also relies heavily on volunteer drivers to provide rides to others in the community while receiving reimbursement for mileage.
The program is funded by Job Access and Reverse Commute Grant from the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
A training session was recently held for those who have been helping out.
In December, the AEOA presented a training session for Rural Rides volunteer drivers at the Lake County Service Center in Silver Bay.
All volunteer drivers from Lake and Cook counties were invited to the annual event, which covered important information about the program and included a presentation by State Trooper Aaron Churness of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Churness spoke about defensive driving as well as tips for driver safety given the unique circumstances of driving in the region.
- For further information on Rural Rides, contact AEOA at 834-2280, ext. 112, or email email@example.com.