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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

Northeast Queens seniors have a new and easy way to get where they need to go.

The Senior Transportation Program allows seniors living in the 19th City Council District, which covers sections of FlushingWhitestoneCollege PointDouglaston and Bayside, to schedule rides to and from medical appointments through a local senior center for free. The program was funded by Councilman Paul Vallone.

A pilot of the program was launched in April and ended in June. On Nov. 13, the program is slated to start up again.

A senior interested in taking advantage of the program should call Bayside’s Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center between 9 a.m. and noon to schedule a pickup for the next day and provide their name, address, phone number, time of pick up and destination. The senior will then later call back for their return trip.

Prior to the ride, the senior will fill out a brief form with basic information and an emergency contact. Rides are provided in partnership with the Four Two’s and Selfhelp Community Services.

We may be living longer, but it is not easy for us to get around,” said Ida Joseph, a Bayside resident. “I and the rest of the seniors really appreciate this program.”

Vallone said the program will be an important transit option in an area considered to be a transportation desert.

“Seniors in our city, many of who live on fixed incomes, are already faced with enough hardships such as rising property taxes, costs of living and stagnant funding for critical services,” Vallone said. “The last thing they should have to worry about is how they’re going to get to the doctor.”

“Continued investments by government, including through this program, enable older New Yorkers to continue to age in the city they call home,” said Sandy Myers, vice president of external relations and communications, Selfhelp Community Services. “We are proud to partner with Council member Vallone and look forward to the continuation and growth of this critical service.”

For more information, call the Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center at 718-224-7888.

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