PRIDE Industries’ Transit Fleet Offers Rides to Individuals with Disabilities During the COVID Pandemic
Services include transportation to appointments, deliveries, and scenic access trips
Roseville, Calif. (December 16, 2020) – The PRIDE Industries’ buses typically seen transporting people with disabilities to their worksites have been repurposed during the pandemic. For the last eight months, PRIDE has used its fleet to deliver groceries, personal protective equipment (PPE), activity packets, and even pet supplies to its employees with disabilities throughout the region. The buses also transport employees to medical appointments and provide complimentary, socially distanced “scenic access rides” to support individuals’ mental wellbeing.
“The COVID crisis has been difficult for us all, but individuals with disabilities have been particularly hard hit,” said Vic Wursten, Chief Rehabilitation Officer at PRIDE. “The isolation from their friends and co-workers has been devastating, which is why we at PRIDE needed to find ways for our employees with disabilities to stay connected with their support networks.”
Transportation to medical appointments and delivery of essentials such as groceries can be challenges for employees with disabilities who are confined to their homes during the pandemic. PRIDE transit services reduce anxiety over concern that access to necessary staples and doctors’ visits may not be available.
When not under Stay Home Order, PRIDE also schedules “scenic access rides” for employees with disabilities who have been homebound during the COVID-19 crisis. A PRIDE Transit team member will drive employees and other members of the same household around the local community to enjoy a safe change of scenery.
“Supporting the wellbeing of our employees with disabilities is vital,” said Dawn Horwath, Rehabilitation Services Director at PRIDE. “The mental health component associated with offering a socially distanced outdoor experience has proven to be invaluable, and the feedback we have received from our employees with disabilities, their caregivers, and families has been universally and overwhelmingly positive.”
Despite their ability to work and contribute, many individuals with disabilities lack a driver’s license, access to a vehicle, or reliable public transportation, making many job opportunities inaccessible. To remove this employment barrier, PRIDE Industries operates a fleet of 60 vehicles that, prior to the pandemic, covered over 90 routes per day, providing more than 21,000 monthly rides to individuals with disabilities who work at PRIDE or other businesses in Placer, Sacramento, Yuba, Nevada, and Sutter Counties in Northern California.
About PRIDE Industries: PRIDE Industries is the leading employer of people with disabilities in the country. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise, the organization provides facility operations and maintenance services, custodial services, contract manufacturing, supply chain management, and fulfillment services to public and private organizations nationwide. Founded in 1966, PRIDE’s mission is to create jobs for people with disabilities through person-centered job coaching, training, and placement. PRIDE’s mission extends across the country, assisting individuals to become self-sufficient, contribute to their communities, and achieve their goals.