CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Transportation’s (WVDOT) Division of Multimodal Transportation Facilities’ Division of Public Transit has acquired eight handicapped-accessible minivans to help rural West Virginia seniors without easy access to public transit.

The vehicles were procured through the federal 5310 Program, which is designed to enhance mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the country. Each vehicle costs approximately $64,000 and were partially funded by the 20 percent match of local community groups.

“Unfortunately, some folks don’t have people to take them places,” John Caldwell, Division of Public Transit Purchasing, said. “They need to go to the grocery store. They need to go to their doctor. They need to get their medications. The 5310 Program helps them with that.”

The minivans include a ramp for easy wheelchair loading and can each hold one wheelchair and three passengers, or five passengers without a wheelchair.

Local agencies getting the minivans include:

  • Central West Virginia Community Action
  • Family Service – Upper Ohio Valley
  • Pocahontas County Senior Citizens
  • Kanawha Valley Senior Services
  • Braxton County Senior Citizens Center
  • Council of Senior Tyler Countians

“The WVDOT is more than just roadways,” said Bill Robinson, director of the Division of Public Transit. “We seek ways to find transportation options for all the citizens of the state.”