our everyday life

How to Access Senior Transportation

by Gail Sessoms

The mission of the National Center for Senior Transportation is to help seniors live independently by providing more options for transportation. The Center receives federal funds to carry out its mission, which is mandated by the Older Americans Act. The NCST says more than 80 percent of older Americans feel that public transportation helps them access everyday needs. Senior transportation programs provide on-demand transportation, low-floor buses for seniors who have difficulty with stairs and vehicles with wheelchair lifts. Public senior transportation programs are funded by the Federal Transit Administration. Seniors or their caregivers can access transportation resources through a variety of sources.

Contact your local public transportation agency or Area Agency on Aging and ask about senior transportation. The American Public Transportation Association provides on its website links to public transportation agencies in each U.S. state. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging provides links on its website to local agencies. Eldercare Locator, a national service that helps seniors live independently, provides links and referrals to senior services, including senior transportation. A service coordinator in your senior citizen housing community can also provide information about transportation.

Confirm your eligibility to receive senior transportation services from the provider in your area. In South Carolina, for example, residents of the county where services are provided are eligible if they are age 60 or older, the spouse of an eligible rider or if they meet other qualifications

Complete the process to request senior transportation. Check with your local program to learn about its process. For instance, in Colorado, Denver's Senior Resource Center allows online reservations for senior transportation appointments. Denver’s program provides transportation free of charge for a variety of purposes, including medical appointment, shopping trips and senior meal sites.

About the Author

Gail Sessoms, a grant writer and nonprofit consultant, writes about nonprofit, small business and personal finance issues. She volunteers as a court-appointed child advocate, has a background in social services and writes about issues important to families. Sessoms holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies.

Photo Credits

  • wheelchair space image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com