Free transport for the elderly expands to 100th municipality
Rogaška Slatina has become the 100th Slovenian municipality to join Prostofer, a network of municipalities that provide free transport for the elderly.
Launched a decade ago, the project connects over 900 volunteer drivers with those in need of a car ride within their municipality.
Not only does the project improve mobility and quality of life of the elderly, it also helps them remain active members of community.
Many elderly people have trouble getting from place to place, especially if they live outside city centres, where the bus network is not well-developed, according to Dragica Sternad Pražnikar from the Slovenian Traffic Safety Agency, which has been involved in the project for three years.
Another major problem is that many elderly people do not have sufficient funds to regularly pay for taxies and public transport.
The latest addition to the Prostofer project, Rogaška Slatina has secured funds from a one-off gaming tax to buy a car. So far, 17 volunteer drivers have applied and have already completed training.
GIC Gradnje, a local construction company, will pay for gas for the next six months, and those in need of a car ride will be able to book one via a toll-free number.
The addition of Rogaška Slatina, a mostly rural community in eastern Slovenia, means almost half of all Slovenian municipalities have now joined the project.
Prostofer is an amalgamation of the Slovenian words prosto (free of charge) and šofer (driver).