A new micro-transit service for Dublin's senior population is getting help from a $25,000 grant that will allow riders to travel to the Dublin Arts Council facility.

The service, in which Dublin partnered with Columbus-headquartered transportation solution business SHARE, was awarded the funding through the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

Mary Ann Frantz, modal-systems manager with MORPC, said the grants come from the Federal Transit Administration.

Other organizations that received funding for projects that enhance the mobility of older adults and those with disabilities include the Central Ohio Transit Authority; the Delaware County Transit Board, which governs the Delaware Area Transit Agency; the Clintonville-Beechwold CRC, the Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone and MORPC.

Frantz said such a service for seniors has been in high demand.

"This has been a problem for decades," she said.

The pilot program began Jan. 2 and will run through July, said Joanne Shelley, an urban designer for Dublin.

Sometime in May or June, the city will begin evaluating the program's effectiveness and what changes should be made in order to continue the program.

During the pilot period, users won't have to pay for the transit service, Shelley said, and the city will gear the service to residents of senior-living facilities in the community.

The new funding for which the city applied will provide the means to add the Dublin Arts Council, 7125 Riverside Drive, as a stop for riders, said Lindsay Weisenauer, a Dublin public-affairs officer.

Other stops include such sites as the Dublin Community Recreation Center, Dublin's historic district and the Mall at Tuttle Crossing.

The city is working with Sunrise of Dublin, Avondale Woods Senior Community, Friendship Village of Dublin and UFit, which provides physical therapy for the developmentally disabled, Shelley said.

The city has received positive feedback about the pilot program from the community, Weisenauer said, and is working with SHARE to see when the service is being used and which locations are most popular.

Janet Cooper, the Dublin Arts Council's director of engagement, said the arts council is looking forward to engaging seniors and those with limited mobility.

The building is ADA-compliant, and materials are available in large text for those who might require it, Cooper said.

The arts council is able to accommodate all kinds of abilities, she said.

The free programming at the arts council is a way to combat isolation by getting out and experiencing something different, Cooper said.

"We're really excited about this enhancement to mobility for our community," she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

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