LIMA — Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley is eliminating its free ride service, GoodRides, effective Dec. 14.
A statement issued this week from its PR/Donations Manager, Cindy Carusone, explained the changes.
“In recent months, Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley completed a thorough strategic planning process, reviewing and evaluating its current delivery of services,” Carusone wrote. “In order to maintain the highest quality services, it is important that GESMV continue to focus on services that are core to our mission and vision.
“Through this evaluation process, GESMV made the difficult decision to discontinue providing transportation services as Good Rides Transportation Service in the Lima area.”
Joe Nieto, 64, is a resident of Pilgrim Place in Lima. He was a police officer in Van Wert and injured his knee many years ago chasing a suspect and had surgery last year at the Cleveland Clinic. The drivers for GoodRides transported him.
“It’s hard for me to get around,” Nieto said. “They took me back and forth all of the time, and I felt really safe — good safe drivers, never got lost, very courteous, very kind and you felt good when they picked you up. They are good people.”
He found out that the program was being discontinued Monday when his ride to Findlay to see a specialist didn’t show. He called the Lima office and was told the program was discontinued.
“I just wish somebody would have informed me so I could have tried to have made some kind of arrangement to have kept my appointment,” he said.
Many but not all of the clients have been notified of the changes.
”GESMV understands that this change affects many customers who currently utilize Good Rides; to accommodate the needs of our customers, Good Rides will continue to transport current riders through Dec. 14th, 2018, which will be the last date of service operation,” Carusone wrote. “During our final 30-days, Good Rides will continue to provide customers with transportation to scheduled appointments or pre-planned trips; Good Rides will require a one week notice for all on-demand trips.”
Carusone emphasized the organization will remain active in the Lima area. It expanded its operations with a new building on Allentown Road in 2016.
“GESMV remains committed to Lima and its surrounding communities,” she wrote. “Staff at our Allentown Road location are available to assist residents with their employment needs and offer services to those experiencing low vision or blindness. At the same location, GESMV recently expanded its Medical Equipment Loan Program, providing residents with free medical equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and walkers at no cost.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.