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Housing & Transportation

Transportation Services

Your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Council on Aging (COA), or senior center will probably be the best source of information about transportation services in the area. They can help you identify the best transportation option for the elder in your care. The Eldercare Locator can provide contact information for these services and programs. Other resources include the following:

Public Transportation Systems

Many local and regional public transit systems are inexpensive and offer services tailored to the needs of elders. In most states, public transportation for elders is offered through a mix of contracted vendors, volunteers, and not-for-profit organizations, including local AAAs, COAs, and senior centers. However, the availability of transportation services varies greatly from community to community. If you are not familiar with your local public transportation provider, you can call your state's Department of Transportation or go to the Web site of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) that links to public transportation agencies in all states.

Other Transportation Services

If your elder cannot walk, drive, or use public transportation, the burden usually falls on you. More than 8 out of 10 caregivers provide transportation assistance, either directly or through arranging for services. However, nonprofit organizations offer transportation through vanpools, taxi voucher programs, volunteer driver and escort programs, and other services. Talk to your local AAA to see what is available in your community, such as:

  • Fixed Route Services: Reduced fares for seniors and/or people with disabilities who can use regular public transportation routes.
  • Paratransit Services or "On Demand" services: Accessible transportation for people whose physical condition restricts the use of public transportation. These demand-responsive services use accessible vans, mini-buses, or taxis. They do not follow fixed routes or schedules—pick-ups and drop-offs are arranged for each trip. These services may be provided by your local transit authority, social service agency, or volunteers (or a combination of all of the above). Some private taxi services offer senior discount coupons.
  • Chair Service: Local ambulance companies can also provide wheelchairs to transport elders for medical appointments. See local listings in the telephone yellow pages or contact your local city or town hall for ambulance services in your area.
  • Shuttles: Some cities and towns provide scheduled, point-to-point senior shuttles for services, such as weekly bus trips to supermarkets from senior housing facilities. Some health care providers provide transportation services between their community-based clinics and hospitals. Regional transportation authorities may provide scheduled transportation service to medical facilities.

Additional Information for Specific States

Below, you'll find additional state-specific information on transportation services. The states included have high percentages of elders and/or high elder populations.

Alabama

Transportation services for seniors are provided through local AAAs; these services are generally handicap-accessible and include transportation to and from senior centers, for physical appointments and shopping.

California

Programs to assist elders with transportation in their daily activities are run by Area Agencies on Aging and vary from location to location.

Florida

The Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged offers transportation services.

Illinois

Cyber Drive Illinois offers a variety of services for seniors.

Michigan

Transportation is offered through AAA chapters and varies from location to location.

Nevada

The Nevada Division of Aging Senior Ride Program offers discounted cab fare and coupon books in two state counties.

New York

Many AAAs offer transportation services for doctor appointments, shopping, nutrition sites or other vital destinations. Many public transportation systems offer discounts for elders. Information can be obtained through local AAAs.

Ohio

Ohio's Department of Transportation (ODOT) has an Elderly and Disabled Transit Fare Assistance Program that allows transportation systems within Ohio to offer reduced fares to the elderly and those with disabilities.

Other transportation information regarding safe driving and alternatives to driving can be found at the Ohio Department of Aging website.

Pennsylvania

All Pennsylvania seniors 65 and older are eligible for free transit during day and evening hours on local bus routes, trolley and rapid transit routes. Find more information at the Bureau of Public Transportation website.

Retired seniors receiving social security who still drive are eligible for reduced registration fees. Information about requirements for Retired Status Registration can be found at the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Texas

Subsidized or free transportation to essential destinations such as senior centers, doctor's appointments, and grocery shopping are available through local AAAs.

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