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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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DuRide. DuRide, a nonprofit service founded by Sue Balsamo and based in Dubuque, provided personalized transportation for those 65 and older who were unable or did not want to drive any longer. DuRide offered private car service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service was available in Dubuque and Asbury, Iowa and East Dubuque, Illinois. In 2015 members paid an annual membership fee of $45 and $4 per ride which covered a little more than one-third of the cost to operate. Business contributions, grants, and individual gifts paid the rest. Gifts were tax-deductible. (1)

DuRide officially opened December 1, 2008. Within its first ten months, it had provided more than 2,000 rides and was nearing 300 rides per month. Subscribers were picked up at the door and delivered to their destination. From 2008 through 2015 volunteers provided 28,000 hours and drove 32,000 miles. From its start through 2015, DuRide provided nearly 60,000 rides with 12,000 being given in 2015. (2)

On March 19, 2019 DuRide volunteer driver Dave Hanley provided the 100,000th ride to a member. Records indicated that DuRide served 291 members and averaged more than 1,000 rides per month. Service was provided 365 days annually by 176 volunteers. (3)

The PANDEMIC caused a dramatic drop in rides. In February, 2020 DuRide logged 1,037 rides. By March that dropped to 539 and to 57 in April. With hopes of staying in touch with its 233 members and 125 volunteers, the volunteers sent notes to all members including their personal phone numbers with an invitation to call if people needed anything--or just to chat. Volunteers also sent out birthday cards and made weekly check phone calls. Offers were made to shop for those who could not leave home. DuRide also made connections with CONVIVIUM URBAN FARMSTEAD and the SALVATION ARMY CORPS AND RELIEF DEPARTMENT to make food deliveries not only to members, but to anyone needing food. Convivium casseroles were also delivered. Ridership also increased to 604 rides in May of 2022. (4)



1. DuRide booklet, 2015

2. Ibid.

3. Lyons, Erica, "Program for Seniors Gives 100,000th Ride," Telegraph Herald, March 20, 2019, p. 3A

4. London, Michelle, "DuRide Continues Programs Started During COVID Lockdown," Telegraph Herald, June 14, 2022, p. 6A