Aging Parents: An Arizona Experiment

A Trial Transportation Program That Can Help Aging Parents

Phoenix is a city where cars prevail and public transportation options for non-driving seniors, although increasing, are still quite limited. I learned that a monthly pamphlet, about city affairs, accompanies the water bill and this month announced a small scale experiment aimed at improving the transportation situation. (I understand there was also a short article in the newspaper, but of course not all older people read the newspaper.) The notice is copied below:
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City offers seniors reduced taxi fares

Concerned about the heavy demand for the city’s Dial-A-Ride service, Phoenix Public Transit has initiated a pilot program that allows seniors to ride taxis at reduced rates.

Funded jointly by the city and the federal government, the Senior Cab voucher program is seen as alternative public transportation for persons 65 and older.

About 400 seniors are being signed up to take part in the pilot program that is expected to last about 19 months, after which the city will decide if it should be made a permanent addition to its transportation offerings.

Senior cab was developed at the request of the City Council, which asked the Transit Department to explore alternative modes of transporting seniors because Dial-A-Ride has increased demand for Americans with Disabilities Act-certified users, making it increasing unavailable to seniors.

Participants each month can buy up to four $10-voucher books for $3 each, which is 30 percent of their value. The vouchers can be used for an entire trip, combined with cash fares to travel further or banked over several months for a longer trip. Riders are responsible for their own gratuity.

For more information call (number given, I’ve omitted it).
* * *
While only an experiment, it’s a creative idea that I’m thinking some readers might want to share with their town or city officials. Let me know what you think.

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