Indian Land now served by public transportation option

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comDecember 2, 2012 

— All Lancaster County residents, including those in the Indian Land Panhandle, can now schedule rides to any location in the county as well as medical appointments in Rock Hill and Charlotte for $2 each way.

The new Lancaster Area Ride Service transportation initiative, announced last week, is a public-private partnership run by the Lancaster County Council on Aging. Though developed with senior citizens in mind, there are no restrictions as far as age or destination for the weekly service.

LARS began as a privately-funded, non-emergency medical transportation system, but was able to expand thanks to grants from the S.C. DOT and Lancaster County.

“We can take people to more destinations,” said Sally Sherrin, executive director of the Lancaster County Council on Aging.

The door-to-door service will take riders anywhere in the county, but out-of-county trips are limited to medical facilities.

“We’ll take you to doctor appointments in Rock Hill or Charlotte, but we don’t have the resources to take you to the mall in Charlotte,” Sherrin said, adding “we’re not trying to replace taxis.”

Operating on what it refers to as zone service, LARS requires riders to schedule trips at least three days in advance for times between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Indian Land and Van Wyck are in Zone 5, which receives service on Fridays.

Sherrin said LARS’ goal is to meet every rider’s reasonable request, but that riders, in exchange for the low-cost service, will have remember to be flexible as far as times that can be arranged.

To schedule a ride, call 803-285-6956. Medicaid recipients who used LARS when it was just a privately-funded service will continue to call 866-831-4130 to schedule pickups.

In York County, most residents can use a similar service called Access for medical appointments but in Fort Mill, it’s only available for Medicaid patients. That’s because, for regional transportation planning purposes, Fort Mill is part of Charlotte rather than Rock Hill and Charlotte, due to its public transportation system, is not considered an area that needs additional low-cost service.

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