Wahkiakum on the Move gets a new ride


A new bus hit the road recently after Wahkiakum on the Move received a sizable donation. The 2022 Ford Starcraft Passenger Van strikes a bold comparison to the hardy stock of buses and vans that travel tireless miles across the county each day. Before this donation, WOTM’s fleet of six buses and vans ranged from 10 to 20 years old. The bus came from CHOICE Regional Health Network, which serves a seven-county region including our own. For years, CHOICE has partnered with health care providers, local governments, and a large number of social service organizations on a wide range of community health improvement initiatives.Their donation demonstrates their commitment to health equity; working with area partners to increase healthcare access for all. This collaboration allows programs like Wahkiakum on the Move to increase their capacity. Since 2020, ridership has been up 42 percent, following massive flooding, a snow storm, and COVID-19.The impact of the County’s only transportation system has been championed by riders for two decades, with many testimonies detailed on social media. “I would like to thank the transport drivers from Wahkiakum on the Move,” a rider posted after falling in their home. “Without you, I would not be here.” Numerous other social media posts praised the program, from its presence in the area, to the individual drivers who go above and beyond for community members: “Shoutout to this incredible woman… We got a ride from her today and she is so kind!” Last year, the WOTM vehicles traveled 138,489 miles. Many of these miles were made traveling to 41 stops along local and intercounty routes Some were made delivering fresh produce from the Master Gardeners to the West End Food Pantry. A number of trips brought Medicaid users to and from urgent medical care, primary care, dialysis, behavioral health, and many other essential health appointments. Entering its 20th year of operation, Wahkiakum on the Move has made good use of its vehicles and is grateful for the new addition. As the program continues its operations, newer vehicles will be pivotal. Partnerships, like those with CHOICE, will be crucial in serving the community, and getting Wahkiakum where it needs to go.


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