In an effort to curtail risk of exposure to coronavirus and alleviate other pandemic-related stressors, Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) is available to deliver groceries to the homes of its Access-a-Ride users, beginning March 30. Access-a-Ride provides bus transportation throughout the Denver metro area for people with disabilities who cannot access RTD’s fixed-route bus and train system. The aim of this new initiative is to open up a way for people with disabilities — for whom COVID-19 presents additional health risks and consequences — to acquire food without leaving their homes. No fee is required for the delivery service.
“We are well aware that during a state of emergency, one of the first things people can lose access to is food,” said Paul Hamilton, senior manager of paratransit services, in the transit system’s press release. “When the public is being told to reduce their exposure to others, the last thing we want to do is ask them to leave their homes if they don’t have to. We are pleased to help our customers where they are, and we appreciate the grocers and food banks that are working with us to provide people with this crucial service.”
Here’s how the service works:
- Individuals who qualify for Access-a-Ride can call a participating grocer or food bank directly, or visit their website online, to set up the order and schedule the pickup time. The current participating grocers are King Soopers, Safeway, Community Ministry Southwest food bank, Senior Hub Senior Solutions and Adams County Food Bank. Please do not order frozen food — since deliveries will be similar to passenger transit, groceries may be onboard for over an hour.
- Once the order is placed and a pickup time is scheduled, call Access-a-Ride reservations at 303-292-6560. After the customer provides the transit service reservation staff with the address of their selected grocer or food bank and the scheduled pickup time, staff will book a trip to collect the groceries. Please note: individuals must schedule these grocery pickups one day in advance — keep that in mind when scheduling the initial pick-up order with the grocer or food bank.
- RTD’s drivers will leave the groceries on the customer’s front porch or step. They will not enter into any homes. The delivery service staff requests that patrons with hard-to-find front doors provide their phone number, so that they will be notified when the groceries arrive.