The Forest Folk have a new van. The 1999 eight-passenger vehicle came from Riverside County after the group approached 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington.
With the new van, Reba Coulter, the group’s treasurer and project director, said they hope to expand the existing shuttle bus service. The shuttle service has grown, she added.
On Wednesday and Friday, the bus service cycles between the Pine Cove Market and multiple stops in Idyllwild such as the HELP Center and Strawberry Plaza. Coulter said there have been requests to extend service to Mountain Center.
Currently, Tuesday and Thursday are reserved for trips off the Hill. On Tuesday, the van goes to the Coachella Valley and Hemet is Thursday’s destination.
With another vehicle, there is an opportunity to add the Thursday “Caring Community Lunch” at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church and possibly the local exercise class to the bus route.
Coulter met with Washington last year and described the service and asked for help finding a second vehicle, anticipating the growth. Washington found a source at the county Transportation Department.
“I never asked for anything in my life until I became involved in volunteer work,” she said, laughing. “Now I’ve become a beggar.”
Forest Folk is a nonprofit organization for adults older than age 50 and on the Hill, began the shuttle service only eight months ago, offering it at no cost.
Usage has been growing. In March, the shuttle provided rides to more than 200 individuals. Most of the riders took advantage of the Tuesday and Thursday trips off the Hill.
Besides its regular scheduled stops, the service will come to a rider’s door. If that is needed, call Pat at 951-292-8467. If the trip is to a destination off the Hill, a 24-hour advance notice is needed.