The Marion Transit team saw a need and took initiative to help a local wheelchair-bound passenger.
The rider would regularly board the bus in an old wheelchair described as rundown and in terrible condition. The rubber had completely worn off the wheels and a bungee cord helped hold the foot rests together. It also did not have a functioning lock.
A few staff members addressed Director of Transportation, Jeff Edwards, about the situation. Edwards made some calls, and was able to coordinate with Carey Services the indefinite lending of their wheelchair (which the department keeps in-house for training) to the individual as long as he needs it.
Edwards explained the rider never asked and may not have had the resources to ask. “We just saw he was having a hard time, and we wanted to help him.”
The rider and his wife expressed emotional gratitude to the team for helping him become more independent and for relieving the family from pushing him around. Now having a wheelchair that locks is also improving his safety.
Edwards expressed thankfulness for his team seeing and addressing a need of someone in the community, and for the partnerships with local organizations such as Carey Services to assist.
There is a plan to check in with the rider every six months. In the meantime, when the Transportation Department needs a wheelchair for training, they will borrow one through Carey Services as opposed to keeping one at their facility every day.