Rides for seniors in north-central CT
A program that provides rides to senior citizens who cannot or should not drive has started service in north-central Connecticut.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTNH.
#1 May 12, 2009
I ran a similar program in North San Diego county for six years until last summer's spike in gas prices. Many seniors could not pay the $10 a round trip (under 30 miles) we would have to charge to cover gas and extra liability insurance. Fortunately, a local business kicked in 50K to keep the program running at the original cost of $5 a round trip. The problem now is lack of drivers. The 20-somethings who did most of the driving gained indescribably priceless experience getting to know the seniors they drove, as well as points on their college adminssions record. But about half have been forced to look for work or to work longer hours when they can get them. Many of the seniors live in remote areas and would have no other way of getting to stores, doctor's visits, or even visits with friends without our service.
Just as free rides for drunks has been successful in keeping people alive on the road, the same could apply to seniors. Many know they have lost their capacity to drive, but in a country with abysmal mass transit, where stores and friends and doctors are all spread out, and where family has moved far away, many become a danger to others on the road; most drive even when relatives have the DMV take away their licenses (few loved ones have the will to do so).
Programs such as the one described in the article will become more and more necessary as aging baby boomers become no longer able to drive. Such programs are also the least expensive way, compared to the cost of buidling a decent mass transit system (many of our clients move back to Europe because of the convenient mass transit) to keep dangerous senior drivers off the road.
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