Transportation Options in Connecticut: Giving Up the Keys Is Not the End

car eUntil self-driving cars become a reality, transportation for older adults and other non-drivers will be a challenge.

Our recent post, 8 Tips for the Dreaded Conversation: How to Stop Your Parent From Driving discusses how to soften the blow by discussing transportation alternatives with a loved one.

Family members can and do pitch in, but thankfully, there are many other options available in Connecticut to help seniors stay independent and get where they need to go, whether that’s to the mall, their doctor, the hair salon or a restaurant.

Community Resources 

  • For individuals living in the community, transportation services are usually accessible at the town level, and senior centers are a good place to go to find out what’s available. Many senior centers have vans or mini-buses and offer shuttle service. Here’s a list of Connecticut Senior Centers.
  • Connecticut 2-1-1 is a comprehensive resource for all types of social assistance statewide. Here’s a link to the Senior Ride Program category with listings for all Dial-A-Ride programs – just type in a town to narrow the search.
  • For regional information, Connecticut’s five Area Agencies on Aging offer assistance for a wide range of services including transportation. Check this resource to see which Agency on Aging covers your town.
  • The Network of Care website’s Senior Ride Programs page has details of the types of transportation services available by town as well as eligibility requirements.
  • A national nonprofit organization, ITNAmerica, works with organizations and individuals to help develop dignified and sustainable transportation in communities across the country. ITNAmerica has an affiliate in Connecticut:
    • iTN Central Connecticut serves Middletown, Cromwell, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Portland, East Hampton, Haddam, East Haddam, Durham, Middlefield, Avon, Farmington, Hartford, West Hartford and Newington.

 Residential Settings

Most retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living facilities and nursing homes provide for transportation needs of residents, with scheduled outings to shopping centers and local points of interest, as well as to medical appointments.

Uber for Seniors

For the tech-savvy senior comfortable using a smartphone, Uber is growing in popularity. Uber allows customers to use their mobile phones to request and pay for a ride using a mobile app. Uber has been actively promoting its services to seniors in commercials like this one:

Don’t let a car, or lack of one, stand in your way. Take advantage of these resources and enjoy the benefits: holding on to your independence, and maintaining your vital connection to the community.

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