Oak Ridge leaves the Senior “My Ride” Program

Since April, Oak Ridge has no longer participated nor given rides in the Senior “My Ride” Program.

City Manager Mark Watson told The Oak Ridger the decision to withdraw from the program had to do with a legal dispute involving the program’s funding. He said the city withdrew before the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States.

The program got its funding through East Tennessee Human Resources Agency (ETHRA) through a settlement that occurred in Davidson County Chancery Court, Part III. It was the SeniorTrust/ElderTrust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III). Funding from that lawsuit has gone to other programs in other counties too.

Watson told the Oak Ridger that a judge in Davidson County Chancery Court, who oversaw that program, was disputing how that funding was being used. The judge even used the underperforming Oak Ridge MyRide program was an example of how the money was being used.

Watson told the Oak Ridger that they left the program so that Oak Ridge could not be used in the lawsuit.

City communications specialist Lauren Gray said the program actually ended over the coronavirus pandemic before the money ran out, but that the judge did have concerns with two programs, with Oak Ridge being one of them.

Gray told the Oak Ridger that the department plans to work with the Oak Ridge Senior Advisory Board to investigate what other senior transportation options might be available. She said this will happen once the city can “resume normal operations.”

The advisory board isn’t meeting this month.

According to the city there are other transportation options, including the bus trips provided by ETHRA and the private taxi services available in the city until some other transportation program can be developed.

Information in this article was gathered using an article published in the Oak Ridger by Ben Pounds. Read the article here.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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