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Learn about Transportation Services

Transportation services include public buses and trains that travel fixed routes. Paratransit, includes group vans, minibuses and taxis that travel variable routes. Other transportation options include private taxis, private dial-a-ride services, and ambulettes.

What are transportation services?

Public transportation, including paratransit, enables seniors and people with disabilities to remain involved in the community. Public buses and trains are often equipped with wheelchair lifts and other devices to increase accessibility. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires paratransit for individuals who cannot access other public transportation options. Paratransit usually includes vans and minibuses that are fully accessible and travel variable routes.

Another option is a private dial-a-ride service. Some dial-a-ride services receive paratransit funding and are therefore part of a community’s public transportation system. Dial-a-ride and paratransit offer pick-up and drop-off at a person’s home but usually require advance reservations.

Some Senior Centers and Adult Day Centers provide transportation to and from their facilities. Many also offer planned excursions and trips to destinations such as grocery stores and medical appointments. The ambulette is a new concept that provides non-emergency transportation to ongoing medical appointments such as physical therapy, dialysis, and chemotherapy.

What should I look for in transportation services?

Check with your local public transportation agencies to obtain schedules and fees for buses and trains. Find out from your local senior and adult day centers what transportation services they provide, and at what cost. In evaluating a private transportation service, you may wish to print out copies of GetCare’s Transportation Service Checklist, which provides detailed questions to help you evaluate and compare providers.

How do I pay for transportation services?

Local transportation services often receive federal money to serve elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Additionally, public transportation is usually provided at a reduced cost. Transportation provided by a senior or adult day care center is usually free or inexpensive.