For Pat Byrne, getting to the DuPage County Board meeting is no easy matter, but Ride DuPage helps make it less of a hassle.
The program has been around for ten years but Pat’s short ride from Glen Ellyn into Wheaton marks a milestone, he clocked in as their millionth rider.
“I’m very pleased and honored to have been given the opportunity, it’s a great program, I’ve been a part of it for a long time, seen it expand and get better and better and I am very proud to have been chosen and I’ll continue to ride and continue to enjoy it and I hope the program continues to grow,” said millionth rider, Pat Byrne.
“A million of anything is a big number and when you think about the fact that it’s a million opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities to have gotten out into their community and participated to the fullest extent they’re able, I think that’s just really exciting,” said Mary Keating, the Director of Community Services for DuPage County.
Ride DuPage is a collaboration between the county and PACE bus services that provides rides 24-hours a day, 7-days a week at reduced rates. Some of the areas covered include Naperville, Lisle, Glen Ellyn and Wheaton.
The service aims to make those everyday trips a little more convenient for those who need travel assistance. For Pat, who is visually impaired, the program has been a godsend.
“When I first started taking ride DuPage I had gotten a job that was just a little too far to walk and I had to cross Roosevelt road in rush hour and that was a little iffy, so ride DuPage gave me the ability to go to work in a safe, timely way,” said Byrne.
For the help they’ve provided Pat and countless others, Ride DuPage was honored at that very same meeting Pat was headed to for its commitment and consistency to the community.
“I think the best part of it is that you have availability to transportation, for someone who has never driven, it’s very empowering,” said Byrne.
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