LINK Gives Back

Rick for blog

LINK Gives Back

When the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) became law, it meant that all public transit operators were required to provide special service to persons whose disabilities prevent them from using fully accessible public transit. At County Connection we call this ADA service LINK, which offers demand response location-to-location service for seniors and those with disabilities. A person’s ability to use LINK for all or for some of their transit trips is based on an individual’s specific condition(s). You may or may not know that County Connection contracts out the operation and maintenance of our LINK paratransit services to a private transportation company known as First Transit. This includes approximately 50 First Transit employees assigned to work according to a County Connection contract with First Transit. These hard working folks have been doing a great job for us for years. They have consistently maintained an excellent safety record, while providing a high level of customer service.

In addition to the regular work these First Transit employees do for us, many of them are involved in our community in other ways outside of work. While it is springtime at County Connection now, a great example of the dedication First Transit employees have to their community comes from this past holiday season, specifically on Christmas Day. To be sure I get the facts correct, I’m going to share with you what County Connection’s First Transit Site Manager Tim McGowen wrote about this particular event.

“Christmas is a special time when most of us get together with our loved ones. For many people, enjoying Christmas dinner with family and friends is a tradition that goes back through the generations. For some; however, the dinner table may be set for just one.

Christmas for Everyone (CFE) is non-profit volunteer organization with the goal that no one in Contra Costa County should go hungry; be without a present, or be alone on Christmas. CFE has been serving people in need during the Christmas season for the past 30 years! Through the generosity of local businesses, associations, churches, and others in the community, CFE has provided a Christmas experience for about 2,500 people per year.

For the past 15 years, First Transit’s Concord, California location, in collaboration with County Connection, has partnered with Christmas for Everyone to transport Contra Costa County residents for a Christmas celebration that includes dinner, gifts, entertainment, and great fellowship.

First Transit drivers Sonia Craig, Tyree Barnes, and John Higashi volunteered their time this past Christmas Day to transport more than 50 guests to the event. I have to say that it’s incredible to work with such great people. My team really believes in giving back to the community. It truly shows through this project.

CFE Executive Director, Mary Perez acknowledged the work and resources provided by First Transit and County Connection and said, “First Transit and County Connection have been so generous to us in the past, contributing the use of vehicles and amazing drivers who picked up those who cannot drive to CFE. We are blessed to have them as partners on this project.”

As the General Manager for First Transit in Concord, I extend my personal thank you, to our drivers Sonia, Tyree and John, for spreading some heartfelt Christmas cheer to many people who otherwise would have spent time alone on Christmas. This is a great example of the dedication and commitment to the community that our First Transit operators give on a daily basis and it is greatly appreciated. 

I join Tim in acknowledging this volunteer work, and add our appreciation for the work that County Connection LINK drivers do to make better access to our community possible for our LINK customers.

FOR MORE

About LINK: Download an application to assess your eligibility for the County Connection LINK paratransit service.

About Christmas for Everyone: Visit their Facebook page or call 925-228-2233.

2 thoughts on “LINK Gives Back

  1. Christmas comes but once a year, and every time it brings good cheer. This year, Scrooge might place repeal of the 12 cent gas tax on the November, 2018 ballot, causing drastic reductions in public fixed route and paratransit.
    As it is, because federal & state gas taxes haven’t been raised since the 1980’s County Connection is planning to raise fares 25%, eliminate free transfers and free midday rides for seniors in Spring, 2019. Furthermore, Routes 1M, 2, 25, 36 97X, 301 and 315 are planned to be eliminated due to low ridership, to save money. Public Hearings will be held later this year on these changes. Elimination of weekday routes would result in some current CCCTA LINK users no longer being able to access LINK because of the 1-1/2 mile from a bus stop rule.

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