Due to the absence of a state budget, AgeSmart, the regional area agency on aging that serves Clinton and Washington County has announced a reduction in funding for the seven counties in their service area. SCT has been notified that as of February 1, 2016, no funding will be made available to pay for transportation for seniors.
In order to adjust to the reduction, SCT has no choice but to start charging seniors for their transportation in Clinton and Washington Counties, which is 50 cents each way for in-city limit trips.
A statewide survey conducted by the aging network this fall projected that by the end of February, 84,500 seniors across Illinois will be without services.
In January, between 5,000 and 6,000 seniors lost home and community based services. Ninety jobs have been lost. It is an established fact that home and community based services like meals on wheels and transportation permit people to maintain their dignity by remaining in their homes; happier, healthier, and at a lower cost to them, as well as to Illinois, then alternative options like nursing homes.
SCT is urging anyone affected but the service cuts to call and write our local legislators.
SCT is also conducting a campaign by collecting letters from all our consumers who use public transportation and depend on it for life saving medical treatments, appointments, to get to work, school, grocery shopping and other services.
If you would like to write a letter in support of public transportation, please give your letter to one of our drivers or contact SCT directly at 618-532-8076.
Help us inform the leaders of Illinois how important public transportation is to rural communities.
Citizens should be outraged at the fact that an inability to come to an agreement on the Illinois budget is affecting those in our community who are the most vulnerable.