Serving the Towns of: Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey,
New Marlborough, Otis and Sandisfield
S.B.E.T.C. (Southern Berkshire Elderly Transportation Corporation) was established in 1984 as a non-profit consortium to help the elderly and disabled persons of any age with their transportation needs for their personal needs. We are located at the Claire Teague Senior Center which is donated by the town of Gt. Barrington, which we greatly appreciate. We were established to serve the towns in our consortium: Great Barrington, (including Housatonic), Egremont (north and south), Alford, Sheffield (including Ashley Falls), Sandisfield, Otis, Monterey and New Marlborough.
S.B.E.T.C. gets its funding from grants from the towns in the consortium and town funding which must be voted on by the town’s people every year and passed. We apply for an Incentive Grant from the state each year, which is difficult to get. We also apply for a few local grants (Berkshire Bank Foundation and Berkshire Taconic Foundation). We also rely on fund raising which with the economy the way it is gets more difficult every year. We also request a fee from our riders, but a person is never denied a ride if they cannot pay the fee. Our drivers respect the privacy of all our riders.
We are a lifeline for many of our riders. A normal day for our drivers is to pick up clients at the home, which may consist of tying their shoes, buttoning their coats, finding their glasses, escorting them to our vans and securing them in their seats. They may even shovel and sand a path, carry in wood etc. We also help them off the vans to their destination, which may include grocery shopping, at which time we carry their bags on and off the van and escort them to their door. We often run into pharmacies dropping off or picking up their prescriptions, the post office for their mail and even a run into the grocery store for a few things they need in order to make their ride easier. We take them to the vet with their pets. All of our drivers have sensitivity, wheelchair and drug and
alcohol training; know CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. If someone gets sick or has an accident in their clothes on the bus it’s cleanup time for the driver.
Our hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We also are working with the BRTA to bring our riders to their bus stops in order to get riders to Pittsfield and the other towns that are not in our consortium. Our busiest time is in the morning through 1:00 p.m. and again in the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. until closing. Our drivers spend the afternoons making sure everyone arrives home safely.
We help to enrich the lives of our riders by offering trips, which we are always searching to get the funding for, to Tanglewood, MacHadyn Theatre, various plays at our local high schools, Clark Museum and to the 9/11 exhibit in Albany NY. Monthly dinners at Berkshire South are sponsored by the Claire Teague Senior Center.
The people we serve are mostly in their “Golden Years”. These are the people who have contributed to our communities in the past such as teachers, doctors, homemakers, lawyers, shopkeepers, garbage men, selectmen etc. We also help the person, of any age, who has had an accident and is in need of a ride to the doctor or a parent who has a child who is in need of a doctor visit.
All in all, we are very important resource for the seniors and disabled persons of any age in the eight towns we serve.