Monday, November 03, 2008

Senior Transportation for Darien and New Canaan

Here is useful information on transportation alternatives for seniors in Darien, New Canaan and Stamford, Connecticut. I'll be writing more later.

Darien

Gallivant – Available Monday to Friday – 9 am – 4 pm. Must make reservations at least 24 hours in advance by calling 655-2227 between 8 am and 1 pm. A donation of $5 round trip is requested. The van is wheelchair accessible and will drive door-to-door to all sorts of appointments, including out-of-town medical appointments. For seniors and physically impaired adults. The van has a professional driver.

The Darien Red Cross (655-2586/www.dsredcross.org) will take seniors and disabled people to medical appointments. They will also do shopping for home-bound seniors. Both services require 48 hours notice. Seniors must be ambulatory to be able to use the free, volunteer-run medical-appointment rides. For the shopping service, they must provide a list and the cash needed. Change is returned with the groceries and receipt. Long- or short-term service is available. The Red Cross needs volunteer drivers who use their own cars. They also have an SUV, which they use to transport people. CT Transit/Norwalk Transit provides “Easy Access” for seniors and disabled riders (who must be ADA certified) with curb-to-curb service within Norwalk, Darien, Stamford, and Greenwich. Service is available three-fourths of a mile from the Post Road in Greenwich and Darien and to the Riverview mall in Norwalk. It is run by Norwalk Transit. For information, call 299-5180 (voice) or 299-5183 (TDD).

The Darien Library will bring books to home-bound seniors.

Senior Nutrition will bring meals.

Houses of Worship have volunteers who will drive seniors to worship services.

Family and Children’s Agency will provide drivers and/or companions to take seniors shopping, to medical appointments or to other appointments. The fee is $20/hour, with a minimum of 2 hours.
FCA receives financial assistance from the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging, the United Way, the Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation, and other charitable foundations. You must be at least 60 years of age. Donation of $10 per hour is requested. Call 203.831.2900 for more information on how you may qualify for fee assistance.


Stamford
Taxi Vouchers – Share the Fare Taxi Program -
The City uses a state grant to fund a program of providing half-price taxi ride vouchers to seniors. Seniors pay $2.5 for a $5 voucher by buying the vouchers from the city in books of ten. The seniors use the vouchers to pay for taxi rides. The taxi companies redeem the vouchers with the city and get paid the full face amount. Seniors must pay for portions of a voucher and for tips with cash.

Senior Services of Stamford – provides a food shopping and friendly visitor service for low-income seniors.
New Canaan
Get About
Get About is open from 7:30 am to 4 pm. Serves New Canaan residents and only drives out of town to Norwalk for medical appointments. Need to make appointments 2 days in advance, 3 days for Norwalk appointments. The fee is $3.00 each way. Medical appointments are free and are funded by a state grant. They have five vehicles and nine part-time retired men - 60 to 70 years old – who are the paid drivers with Public Service licenses. They provide about 1,600 trips per year. The dispatcher has a paid position. They saw a large increase in rides after hiring a full-time office manager/dispatcher. He schedules 2 minivans (Toyota Siennas), Chevy Intervan (wheelchair lift), Chevy high top, Ford 12 passenger van.

The annual budget is $200,000 -- $40,000 from town, $14,000 from United Way, State Grant monies, private fundraising – (personalized solicitation and thank-you notes bring in monies), $75,000 raised via cocktail party and silent auction. They have quarterly publicity and get out the word via churches, board members, doctors. They have a varied board with school parents, church members, country clubs, senior men, etc.

Staying Put in New Canaan – uses members as volunteer drivers. Members help members to get places on weekends and evenings and also to medical appointments in Stamford and Greenwich. They have a very active membership. SPINC rents the Get About vans for their social evenings.

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