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By Text and photos by Peter Vankevich
Ocracoke islanders now have another transportation choice for medical appointments off the island.
Hyde County Transit, a nonprofit transportation provider on the mainland, has begun van service for disabled residents of any age and residents of at least aged 65 who are not eligible for the Medicaid Transportation Program.
Beverly Paul, director, who announced the new service Nov. 8 at a community meeting, said requests for the van need to be called in at least three days in advance, and are based on the availability of the van and vehicle operator.
“Residents should call in appointments as soon as they schedule them,” Paul explained. “Even if you do not qualify for the service, please call and we will see if we can find a trip that we have already scheduled that you could get on.”
The service will go up the beach, to Elizabeth City, Greenville and other destinations to be determined, but will not travel outside of North Carolina.
Islander Elizabeth Dyer has been hired as the vehicle operator.
A public meeting about this new service will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Ocracoke Community Center for residents to give input on their transportation needs and what they would like to see accomplished with the program.
Hyde County Transit also provides passenger service, with another van, for shopping on selected Tuesdays each month–one to Avon and the on the other day farther up the beach as far as the Walmart in Southern Shores.
These trips–for any purpose–are free to anyone 60 years and older. Those younger are required to pay a fee of $3.20 to Avon and $5 to the Nags Head area.
In addition, Hyde County Transit is working on procuring a tram-style transit system that would be ready when the new NC Ferry Division passenger service begins, projected to be in 2018.
For more information, call (252) 926-1637.