Rider Reimbursement Program Takes Off


Last updated 12/11/2020 at 1:38pm

A new rider reimbursement program is gathering momentum here in Borrego Springs, and by all accounts it is having a successful rollout. Let’s Go Borrego is a program whereby senior citizens and others who need transportation to medical or dental appointments can be reimbursed for the mileage to and from their destinations.

The program is sponsored by the Borrego Springs Senior Center, the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund, and a group of dedicated volunteers from the Borrego Springs Economic Development Revitalization Subcommittee. Riders find their own volunteer drivers, which might be a friend or spouse, then submit their destinations and dates on a monthly basis. They are reimbursed at the rate of $0.50 per mile.

Annmarie Tidwell, a long-time Borrego Springs resident, is one of the pilot program participants. She does not drive anymore, so her husband, Brad, drives her to doctor appointments.

She said, “Lets Go Borrego has been the answer to my prayers. In the past, I had to forgo some needed appointments since the cost of fuel is so high. I am so grateful, Let’s Go Borrego is a blessing.”

In addition to being Annmarie’s driver, Brad has been submitting their travel dates and destinations through the Let’s Go Borrego online portal. He said that after taking the time to learn how to submit their trips, it has been relatively easy to enter the information so Annmarie can get the monthly reimbursement check.

“This program has been a big help to us, and it’s fairly easy to submit the trip information. We are grateful to everyone who has had a hand in getting this program going,” Brad said.

Folks who don’t have access to the internet can simply send their trip information in by U.S. mail after they are enrolled in the program. It’s simple and easy to do.

Initial funding for the program has been generously donated by the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF), which is headed by new CEO Sarah Rogers.

“Let’s Go Borrego is an exciting opportunity for BVEF to benefit individual seniors in the community. We are happy to provide this initial funding for the test program,” Rogers said.

One of the keys to the success of the program is the sophisticated software that has been generously provided by the folks at Jigsaw Analytics: Leslie Cole, David Gonzales, and Marilyn Cole. Without their hard work and dedication to the program and to Borrego Springs, this program simply would not exist.

Other key volunteers that have made the difference are Betsy Knaak of the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA), Lorry Seagrim of BVEF, Mary Ann Lord, and others – all from the Revitalization Subcommittee.

Donations and Grant monies are now being sought to continue the program after the initial pilot program funds are expended.

Seniors and/or disabled folks living in Borrego Springs who need transportation to medical or dental appointments, including physical therapy, should call 760-237-8205, or email letsgoborrego@gmail.com to see if they qualify.

Let’s go, Borrego!