Bridging the Transportation Gap

ServiceSource and Diamond Create Solutions for Commuter Needs

Published in Our Stories, Press Releases

Woman smiling
Meet Joan Buckmaster.

Unexpected injuries can create unexpected problems, one being transportation. Between doctors’ appointments and checkups, commuter costs can add up significantly, especially in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

ServiceSource, a local disability resource nonprofit, has teamed up with Diamond Transportation to alleviate stresses and create solutions to transportation needs.

Joan Buckmaster can attest to the benefits of reliable transport. “In August, I fell, and I broke my pelvis in three places. I was in bad condition,” says Joan. After she was discharged from Reston Hospital, Joan moved to Sunrise of Hunter Mill, an assisted living community in Oakton for recovery.

“During my recovery, I had to go to several doctors throughout the week,” says Joan, “It became clear that I needed a dependable transportation service, but I had no idea what to do other than call taxis. I tried a taxi service once, and it cost $70 roundtrip.” When considering the required doctors appointments and medical needs over the next six weeks of recovery, this cost was unsustainable.

Joan’s daughter Melissa Buckmaster sought a solution. A fellow parishioner at Good Shepherd Church connected Melissa to ServiceSource Family Support Services. “Before I found ServiceSource, I probably called 30 different social services places trying to find a consistent ride that had a reasonable price.”

mother and daughter smiling
Melissa and Joan Buckmaster

“We were too early on in the recovery to know how the future might go,” explains Melissa, “All we knew was that we had to get my mother back and forth to the hospital for six weeks on a daily basis.”

Sagan Brummett, Director of ServiceSource Family Support Services connected the Buckmasters to Diamond Transportation Services.  With ServiceSource’s referral, Joan could take advantage of Diamond’s cost-effective transportation program.

Joan attributes part of her speedy recovery to the ServiceSource-Diamond partnership. “I don’t know how I could have managed otherwise,” says Joan, “I feel confident when I walk out the door that somebody is going to be there. My favorite driver and the one that I have had most is a gem. He’s always here early and he is so polite. He’s always prompt, good, safe, and pleasant.”

Mrs. Buckmaster mentions the other drivers she’s had, including one who once waited an extra 20 minutes for her appointment to end. “The fact that he waited 20 minutes for me made all the difference in the world. I was in the hospital worried that I was going to be left there and was so relieved when I learned that he was waiting for me,” said Joan.

Tom Furlong, General Manager of Diamond Transportation Services says, “Without question our biggest asset is our employees. They understand that we need to be kind and compassionate to our riders, as well as the families of those riders, and the facility staff we provide service to.”

“It’s way beyond them doing their job,” says Melissa, “They’re making sure that people are okay. Even dispatch would call when there was a slight change of plan to verify that there wasn’t a communication error.”

Now in 2019, Joan Buckmaster is thriving. Melissa reports that her mother’s transition from assisted living to a condominium in Arlington “went flawlessly, and [Joan] proudly announced the other day that she is now walking with her cane, rather than a walker, and even walks unaided in her apartment.”

“Mom is going to be using ServiceSource-Diamond Transportation quite a bit in the coming months, as she will need to find new doctors and a dentist closer to her new apartment,” says Melissa, “She and I continue to feel so grateful that we found this service.”

 

Need a lift? The ServiceSource Transportation Program can get you there! Find out more information about the program in the link provided below. Interested in signing up? Access the Referral form in the link provided below. Submit referrals for review and approval to familyservices@servicesource.org or send a fax to 703-461-3906

Find the Program Flyer and Referral forms here. 

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