For over 20 years, Transwick has served the transportation needs of Warwick residents:
With the assistance of state funding, the City of Warwick was able to purchase three new para-transit buses. These buses had the capacity of 12 passengers and two wheelchairs. At this time, the system had two part-time drivers who serviced 150 riders for a total of 29 hours a week. The system provided grocery shopping on an alternate week schedule as well as limited transportation to the Buttonwoods Center. All record keeping and scheduling was non-computerized at this time.
The Pilgrim Senior Center opened in the fall. Transwick rider-ship increased to 190. Services were increased to provide transportation for classes and programs at the center.
A third part-time driver was added to the system. This position allowed the system to increase services to the center. The Transwick application was improved and upgraded to allow for more information to the rider as well as to the system.
The Buttonwood Senior Center was opened after renovations for expansion. Transwick rider-ship at this time was 258. Services were increased to provide transportation for programs and classes at the center. A computerized software was developed to keep a data base of the Transwick riders. From this data base daily schedules were developed for the Transwick drivers.
The Transwick newsletter “On the Move” was developed for the Transwick rider-ship. This newsletter is mailed to the systems ridership on a quarterly basis. It updated riders on new services, schedules, policies etc.
The system was able to use Open Space and Recreation Fund Reimbursements for the purchase of two 16 passenger buses. This enabled the system to hire another driver so that the system could increase rider-ship and to provide service for grocery shopping on a weekly basis for its riders. The system was also able to add a monthly retail shopping service to area stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Christmas Tree Shop etc.
Two of the driver positions were made to full-time status. This enabled the system to expand transportation to the senior centers. Rider-ship had grown to 385.
Developed working relationship Temporary Employment agency to provide drivers for the system when regular drivers were on vacation or on sick leave. This enabled the system to continue services without interruption.
The system purchased two 1999 Ford Para-transit vehicles with a capacity of 18 passengers (16 seats and 2 wheelchairs). The addition of these vehicles enabled the system to replace two of the older buses as part of the systems vehicle replacement program. The system also developed a new transportation software program with a new vendor that was Y2K ready. This program allows for the expansion for information provided in the database. It has enabled the system to expand on the development of the weekly schedules for the drivers. From the database the system is produce a mailing list used for the systems newsletter. It is also able to store and calculate information from route slips for quarterly statistics. It is also able to keep vital vehicle information (ie. Year, make, etc.).
The city purchased a new 16 passenger vehicle (14 seats 2 wheelchairs) as part of the continuance of the vehicle replacement program. This will allow for one of the vehicles that were purchased in 1994 to become a spare bus and allow for the system to have a vehicle ready for breakdowns and repairs. The system hired another driver to expand program transportation to the centers and nursing homes to visit loved ones. It has also expanded to providing transportation for personal appointments such as banking, prescription pickups, haircuts and hairdressers etc.
With the assistance of the Mayor’s Senior Services Commission, the Stop and Shop Corporation donated a new 2002 Ford para-transit vehicle with a capacity of 16 passengers (14 seats and 2 wheelchairs) to the system. The system hired its sixth driver to the system. This new driver will allow the system to aggressively expand services to the Potowomut section of Warwick. A new service of providing transportation for recreational trips (ie. Movies, Newport Mansions, Flower Show etc.) has been added to the systems program of services. Since the development of the transportation program, the system has already made some changes and expanded the software to provide the following:
- A new addition that can provide a cost analysis for the system. This will show what it is cost the system per rider, per mile, per hour and per day. This feature information will be obtained from the input of the drivers daily route sheets.
- The system will be able to produce reports with graphs and percentages. The reports will consist of income level, age, sex and ethnic background.
- These reports are vital to the department when applying for grants and assisting with the systems yearly budget.
The system currently has 750 riders that it services. The goal of this year is to market Transwick to the people that we need to service and to inform them of the services that we provide. The Transwick systems website was constructed and is running to provide information about our services.