Fairfax City

The following was among actions taken at the Oct. 27 meeting of the Fairfax City Council. For more information, call 385-7855.

FARE WHEELS -- The council authorized Fare Wheels, a city-subsidized program that offers reduced rate taxi service to physically impaired residents, to expand its service to provide transportation to the new Fair Oaks Hospital, which is about two miles west of the city on Joseph Siewick Drive, off of Rte. 50.

The expansion came in response to complaints from some elderly residents that little public transportation is available to the hospital, according to Fairfax City Human Services Coordinator Jane Roth. One disabled resident was unable to visit her husband, who is a patient there.

Fair Oaks Hospital, which opened this year, replaces Commonwealth Hospital on Rte. 123. Commonwealth is being converted into an emergency care and nursing facility. The city-operated CUE bus service does not provide transportation to Fair Oaks Hospital.

Fare Wheels offers transportation to the Vienna Metro station and locations within Fairfax City to city residents whose physical impairments make it difficult to use the CUE bus system. Riders pay $6 for $20 worth of taxi travel. The year-old program also provides transportation via specially equipped vehicles to people with severe physical impairments.

Only one person is currently enrolled in the Fare Wheels program, Roth said, although enrollment has been as high as eight. She attributes the lack of ridership to marketing efforts that had implied that only people with serious physical disabilities were eligible to use the service. However, residents with even minor physical impairments are eligible to use the reduced rate taxi service, she said.