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Dial-A-Ride goes to Roseville for trial

By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
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The city of Lincoln took a step in the right direction by reinstating Dial-A-Ride trips to the Galleria and Wal-Mart, said Lincoln resident Gail Spence. Spence has been an advocate for the return of the door-to-door Dial-A-Ride service to the two retail locations in Roseville ever since it stopped being offered in February. “It’s good that it’s back,” said Joyce Spence, Gail’s Daughter. “It’s about time.” Joyce Spence has cerebral palsy and gets around with a power chair. Although Gail Spence can drive her to Roseville, she cannot take the power chair with her in her small car and Joyce enjoys her free time alone. “She plans on going as much as she can,” Gail Spence said. The service has been reinstated on a 90-day trial period, after which the usage and costs will be evaluated to see if the service will continue to be offered beyond that timeframe, said Lincoln’s interim director of Public Works Terry Rodrigue. The 90-day trial period was implemented following a workshop May 18 that addressed residents’ concerns over the cancellation of the service, according to Rodrigue. “At the workshop, there was certainly a good turnout indicating a lot of people are interested in reinstating this service,” Rodrigue said. “There is a potential.” The fee for a trip to Roseville is fixed at $3.50 per ride, regardless of how many passengers take the weekly trip, Rodrigue said. Trips to the Galleria will be offered on the first and third Wednesday of each month, departing at 9 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m. That poses a potential problem, as the Galleria opens at 10:30 a.m., but Gail Williams, transit supervisor for the city of Lincoln, said that by the time riders are picked up and driven to the Galleria, it is around the mall’s opening. If it proves to be too early, Williams said, then the city is willing to adjust the times. Trips to the Wal-Mart on Pleasant Grove Boulevard – which has a grocery store – are scheduled for the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, departing at 9 a.m. and returning at 12:30 p.m., according to a city of Lincoln press release. The Spences said the new service addresses the major portion of the problems they suffered when the service was eliminated, leaving Joyce Spence “feeling like she was stuck at home.” “Dial-A-Ride delivered us to the Galleria entrance by Macy’s,” Gail Spence said. “It’s a good spot.” While the option to take a Placer County bus to the Galleria remains available, the bus stop at the Galleria leaves much to be desired, according to the Spences. They said that stop is across the street and in the midst of construction, which makes it a safety hazard for those with limited mobility. According to Gail Spence, the amount of time offered at the Galleria “is perfect.” “That gives people enough time to browse the shops and walk across the street to The Fountains and have lunch,” Gail Spence said. But the timeframe for the Wal-Mart trip has room for improvement, according to Joyce Spence. “People need to have time to shop for groceries and eat lunch,” Joyce Spence said. “Two hours isn’t enough time for older people to do their grocery shopping.” The Spences said they are happy with the ride’s return. “Hopefully, they won’t say no to the service (after the trial period),” Joyce Spence said. If ridership plays a large part in determining whether the service is continued, Gail Spence added, she hopes the city of Lincoln will promote the service to residents, as there were only seven riders on the first trip Aug. 5 to the Galleria. “This is what it’s all about,” said Mayor Spencer Short. “We’re listening to residents and trying to offer the services we can within the financial constraints we’re placed under.” Once the trial period is over, Short said, the city will need to examine the service to see if it fully meets the needs of the residents. The pitfall to offering the service, Short said, is that every dollar spent in Roseville taxes tax dollars out of Lincoln’s general fund, and he urged residents to buy what they can in town to keep the tax money in the local economy. Residents wishing to give feedback on the service are welcome to call Dial-A-Ride at 645-5400, Rodrigue said. “I am really excited they’re doing a trial run,” Gail Spence said. “I really hope they get the word out.” Quick Facts: Dial-A-Ride trips to Wal-Mart and the Galleria. When: Trips are scheduled for Wednesdays Who can go: Any Lincoln resident can take Dial-A-Ride to either Roseville location for $3.50. To reserve seats: call 645-5400 (reservations required) Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at brandond@goldcountrymedia.com.