warning: file_exists(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/../ad_/ad_cache_.inc) is not within the allowed path(s): (/var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/:/tmp/) in /var/www/vhosts/glencoenews.com/httpdocs/sites/all/modules/ad/adserve.inc on line 160.

Trailblazer struggles with shrinking pool of volunteer drivers

Trailblazer Transit’s dwindling pool of volunteer drivers has it pondering how to continue providing service to those with unique needs.
The joint powers board heard Thursday morning that there are just seven active volunteers, with an average age of 80.
The volunteer drivers provide rides to people who have needs outside of Trailblazer’s traditional service area — such as to medical clinics in the Twin Cities or Rochester.
Bev Herfindahl of the Minnesota Department of Transportation said a shortage of volunteer drivers is not unique to Trailblazer Transit.
“It’s becoming a major issue all over the state,” said Herfindahl. Most volunteer drivers have been retirees, but recently, Herfindahl said, “new retirees are not looking at this as their first mode of volunteering.”
And while the pool of volunteers is dwindling, Trailblazer Executive Director Gary Ludwig said “the need is growing.”
Ludwig said at one time, human services departments in McLeod and Sibley counties also utilized volunteer drivers for clients. But they found it more efficient to use Trailblazer.
“Social services is looking for Trailblazer to solve this problem first,” said Ludwig, “before they turn to more expensive options.”

For more, see the Jan. 21 print edition of The Chronicle.