The Joe and Mary Wilson Community Benefit Fund of Mary Washington Hospital Foundation and Stafford Hospital Community Benefit Fund have each awarded Fredericksburg Regional Transit a $20,000 grant.

FRED, whose services include transportation to health-related sites, is required to use the $40,000 to meet three objectives. They include strengthening its safety and security programs to reduce accidents and incidents by 5 percent and increasing the combined number of riders going to Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals to 3,000 and other medical stops to 10,500.

Last year, there were eight accidents and incidents involving FRED buses, the same number as in 2017. FRED also 2,963 passengers board at the two hospitals, and an additional 7,066 boarded the buses at other “medical stops” last year, according to Sharon L. Sullivan, FRED’s administrative assistant.

That’s down from 2017, when FRED had 3,028 passengers board at the hospitals’ bus stops, and an additional 9,288 boarded our buses at other “medical stops.”

FRED staff conducted several public outreach programs in Caroline County to expand awareness of transit service last year, and anticipates extending its outreach to the other counties this year, Sullivan said.

They are working with Stafford County to initiate a new route to the Quantico Office Park and Quantico VRE Station.

FRED also has received inquiries for additional service from Spotsylvania County, and planners have inquired about reinstating service between the city, King George and Dahlgren.

The two grants also require FRED to complete 10 Ride-FRED seminars to educate the public and the two hospitals’ partners, conduct 50 individual training sessions and 10 outreach training sessions. FRED teams up with Healthy Generations, formerly Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging, for these. In 2018, there were 11 Ride-FRED seminars, 177 individual training sessions and 19 outreach training sessions, Sullivan said.

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Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407