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An initiative that offers information and referrals for rides to people over 60, the disabled and home health care workers  – which the county’s Department of Senior Programs and Services helps to support – has  received renewed federal funding to expand its program through March 2017.

RideConnect, the alternative transportation service that received the additional funds,  is sponsored by Family Services of Westchester and most of its referrals are for rides in northern Westchester.

Individuals can schedule rides for medical appointments, shopping, cultural events, hairdresser appointments and errands. The transportation is provided by volunteers and the RideConnect bus.

The service originally operated in Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, Pound Ridge, North Salem, North Castle and Somers.  The additional funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is permitting it to expand into Cortlandt, Ossining, Peekskill, Yorktown and New Castle. RideConnect also has a database of volunteers who can offer rides in other parts of Westchester as well.

The service is growing rapidly.  In 2012, RideConnect provided 1,000 referrals while in 2013 it provided more than 6,000.

To arrange for a ride, call RideConnect at (914) 242-7433, Mondays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. With advance notice, rides can be scheduled on weekends as well.  Callers will speak with a transportation counselor who directs callers to the fastest, most cost-effective transportation option to meet their needs. Rides can also be requested on the RideConnect Web site at www.rideconnectwestchester.org

Program director Karen Ganis said there is an ongoing need for volunteer drivers age 21 and older in all Westchester communities. Those interested should contact her at (914) 864-0955 or .