2017-05-03 / Features

Senior Transportation Pilot Program Launched


Standing with community leaders, advocates and seniors, Council Member Paul Vallone announced the official launch of a senior transportation pilot program in partnership with Selfhelp Community Services. Standing with community leaders, advocates and seniors, Council Member Paul Vallone announced the official launch of a senior transportation pilot program in partnership with Selfhelp Community Services. Standing with community leaders, advocates and seniors, Council Member Paul Vallone announced the official launch of a senior transportation pilot program in partnership with Selfhelp Community Services. For the very first time, seniors in northeast Queens will have a transportation service they deserve. Vallone said, “Throughout the city, seniors are faced with a lack of practical transportation options that limits their ability to reach cultural institutions and medical appointments. Relying on unreliable services such as Access-a-Ride is often the only option for seniors living in transportation deserts such as northeast Queens, where public transportation is extremely limited.” Funded by Council Member Vallone, this new pilot program will provide seniors with an innovative alternative travel option provided through Selfhelp Community Services and Four Twos car service.

For this pilot program, seniors will be able to schedule trips for three different purposes by calling the center (718-224-7888):

1. Medical Appointments – Seniors will call the Clearview Senior Center between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to schedule their rides for the next day. When scheduling the ride, they will provide their name, address, phone number, time of pick up and their destination. The senior will then call for their return trip.

2. Shopping Trips – A van service will provide transportation for shopping trips either once a week or once every other week. Seniors will be picked up at their homes and taken to the local supermarket and then returned home.

3. Cultural Trips – A van service will be used to take seniors to shows at Flushing Town Hall and other local cultural attractions.

Prior to receiving a ride, an application will need to be completed that includes basic demographic information and an emergency contact for anyone using the service.

“Seniors in our city, many of whom live on fixed incomes, are already faced with enough hardships, such as rising property taxes, costs of living and stagnant funding for critical services. The last thing they should have to worry about is how they’re going to get to the doctor,” said Vallone. ”As Chair of the Subcommittee on Senior Centers, I have continually worked to improve the quality of life for our seniors. Today we are fulfilling another promise with this pilot program that will go a long way towards providing our seniors with the transportation options they need and deserve. I look forward to expanding it in years to come.”

“We are grateful for Council Member Vallone’s innovative leadership in piloting a new transportation program for seniors in northeast Queens based at Selfhelp’s Clearview Senior Center,” said Sandy Myers, Director of Government and External Relations, Self-help Community Services. “In transportation deserts like northeast Queens, seniors are often isolated in their homes due to the lack of affordable and accessible transportation services. Investments by government, including this program, enable older New Yorkers to continue to age in the city they call home. We are proud to partner with the New York City Council, and look forward to the continuation and growth of this critical service.”

“I want to personally thank Councilman Vallone for his initiative in providing this new Senior Transportation Program,” said Linda Pedreira, Bayside resident. “Such a service will help seniors in going out into their community and socializing with their peers, which are important benefits for their happiness and wellbeing.”

“It’s wonderful that Council Member Vallone is thinking of the seniors. We may be living longer but it is not easy for us to get around,” said Ida Joseph, Bayside. “I and the rest of the seniors really appreciate this program.”

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