In early 2012, VTrans partnered with the San Bernardino County Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) to expand and streamline the Transportation Reimbursement Escort Program (TREP). The program has provided a transportation option to seniors, people with disabilities, and individuals of low income who reside in the rural areas of San Bernardino County since 1998.
The National Association of Counties announced that the TREP partnership, funded by a Caltrans New Freedom grant has been selected to receive the NACo Achievement Award.
VTrans and DAAS provide a transportation option to those who need it most. While almost 80 percent of the county's population resides within 480 square miles, the other 20 percent of the population is spread across the county's remaining 20,000 square miles. To put this into perspective, consider the fact that San Bernardino County is slightly bigger than the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island combined.
TREP provides an incentive for volunteer drivers, usually friends or neighbors, to assist eligible individuals who are unable to drive or access public transportation by providing necessary, escorted transportation. Mileage reimbursements (currently 40 cents per mile) are paid to offset fuel and other out-of-pocket vehicle costs incurred by the volunteer drivers. Individuals apply for the program and are qualified using the criteria of limited mobility or lack of public transit. Clients are then eligible for a predetermined amount of mileage per month, depending on their particular needs.
TREP is available in all rural areas of the county, excluding and the cities of Victorville, Hesperia, and Apple Valley and will soon be expanding into the San Bernardino Valley.