Each year, Ride Connection provides over 500,000 rides to individuals in the Portland metro area giving them access to the goods and services they need to maintain independence, health, and inclusion. However, the need in our region is far greater than our current capacity allows us to provide; last year Ride Connection had to turn down an additional 37,000 ride requests. Historically, we have been primarily funded by federal and state contracts and grants. These funding sources are not guaranteed from year to year and have been declining as priorities shift. We are working diligently to increase philanthropic support to fund current services, while working towards increasing services to meet the growing need in our community.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Ride Connection has implemented additional safety measures in order to continue to connect customers to hunger relief services, life-sustaining medical appointments and other social services. We have also partnered with local food banks to deliver food boxes to those in need. Since many of our customers aren't leaving their homes, we are calling them with a quick hello and making sure they are doing well. We understand many of our customers live in social isolation and their normal Ride Connection ride might have been their only social interaction for the day, even prior to the pandemic. Your support will help us continue to meet these needs.
Transportation is an essential human need. The value of transportation is incalculable, from relief from social isolation to fueling our economy. Keeping people moving, connecting with one another, and engaging with their community for as long as possible during their life span is critical. Ride Connection meets the transportation needs of each customer by offering a variety of transportation options. Our door-to-door services provide options for individuals who are unable to access public transit due to physical disabilities, medical conditions, developmental disabilities or who have immediate transportation needs. For customers who have the ability to use public transit, we offer an in-depth travel training program and fair relief services. Each customer is matched with the option that best fits their needs and capabilities.
"With all the negative things in this world, Ride Connection has been like a bright light in my life. After my husband passed away, I couldn't drive anymore and that sometimes felt as if I were in a jail cell, but Ride Connection has changed that for me and I am so happy and incredibly grateful for all that you do." Amy, Ride Connection Customer
"You guys are such lifesavers! When you have special needs kids and you work and live out in the middle of nowhere it is very difficult. This service is a Godsend and we don't know what we'd do without you. Thank you so much!" Diane, Mother of Ride Connection Customers
"When I moved to Oregon, I went through a whole pad of Post-It notes to figure out transportation. I realized it would cost hundreds of dollars to take a cab anywhere I needed to go. My son does so much for me, but he just doesn't have a lot of time with everything he has going on. When I finally called Ride Connection - bang! That was the beginning of my life and the relief of the stress in my life. The relief of my mental stress knowing that I have transportation with dependable drivers… Ride Connection is more than a blessing - it is a lifesaver." Art, Ride Connection Customer
Ride Connection provides free, customer-focused, safe, reliable transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities, and low income individuals in the Portland metro area of Oregon. Ride Connection's mission is to link accessible, responsive transportation alternatives with individual and community needs. Ride Connection links other nonprofits, human services agencies, and individuals into the complete transportation system in order to best meet their specific needs.