Community

Free program helps seniors get around Federal Way

The Hyde Shuttle Service offers free door-to-door service to seniors throughout Federal Way, transporting riders to medical appointments and local errands. - Contributed
The Hyde Shuttle Service offers free door-to-door service to seniors throughout Federal Way, transporting riders to medical appointments and local errands.
— image credit: Contributed

Hyde Shuttle Service (HSS) is a non-profit organization that provides free rides around Federal Way for those 55 and older or those who have disabilities.

The program runs three shuttles offering free door-to-door service throughout Federal Way, transporting riders to the Federal Way Community Center, grocery shopping, the library, bank, to visit a friend, medical appointments and local errands.

HSS is open to anyone from the aforementioned categories, according to HSS transportation manager Valerie Kueffel.

“All they need to do is call our main number 206-727-6262 to get signed up,” Kueffel said. “There’s no application/screening process, it’s all done over the phone.”

Residents can plan a ride 30 days in advance, and Kueffel said they’ll be notified if they will be eligible to receive a ride.

“We cannot guarantee rides, so when somebody calls to request a ride, that’s all they’re doing, is requesting a ride. The day before (their scheduled ride), we call everybody back and say ‘You’re scheduled for your ride tomorrow’, or, ‘Unfortunately, we have no ride available for you tomorrow.’”

The shuttles are available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Cindy Zwart, director of transportation programs for King County Senior Services, said Federal Way residents get good use out of HSS.

“We have an unduplicated rider count … that figure for 2013 is 238 Federal Way riders. Total one-way trips in 2013 were 6,035, and total miles was 36,860 miles,” she said. “A decent amount of usage.”

Zwart said HSS started in 1997 in Des Moines, and has since expanded to 38 vans on the road throughout multiple communities in King County.

The vans are split between nutrition vans, and community shuttles. Federal Way’s program falls under the community shuttles designation, Zwart said, which are “designed to increase mobility options for seniors and people with disabilities.”

The vans are all wheelchair lift equipped, Zwart noted, and as Kueffel pointed out, remain an excellent option because there is no eligibility process for riders.

“They don’t have to fill out a long application, or go to Harborview for an in-person eligibility screening,” she said. “As long as they say they’re a senior in Federal Way, they’re good to go.”

The program is part of King County Metro’s Community Access Program.

Those interested are encouraged to call 206-727-6262.

 

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