Returning program to give seniors free rides 1

A successful, no-cost senior transportation program for borough residents funded mostly by City Councilman Paul Vallone is going to relaunch.

Have an aging family member who struggles to get to the doctor?

You’re in luck: A transportation program that takes folks who are 60 or more years old to medical appointments without charge is coming back to Queens.

City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) joined Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica), Selfhelp Community Services and the Four Twos Private Car Service at the Clearview Senior Center on Tuesday to announce the news.

The initiative, which officially restarts on Monday, Dec. 10, first existed in a slightly different form as a pilot program last year that provided free rides to medical appointments, shopping trips and cultural institutions to elderly constituents of Vallone.

Like much of Eastern Queens, the councilman’s district does not have a lot of public transportation options.

“This program has proven to provide our seniors with an alternativetransportationoption they need and deserve,” Vallone said in a prepared statement. “When I first launched it, I hoped that it would grow and expand beyond just Northeast Queens, and now that has become a reality.”

To schedule a ride for the next day, call the Clearview Senior Center at (718) 224-7888 between 9 a.m. and noon after the initiative starts again. Those who do so must give their address, time of pickup, destination, name and phone number.

An application that includes basic demographic information and an emergency contact will have to be completed by seniors before they can receive a ride.

To get their return trip, passengers will call the senior center.

The rides will be provided by Four Twos.

Vallone provided $80,000 for the program to serve seniors in his district, while City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) coughed up $50,000 to allow it to be expanded borough-wide at the request of the Queens Delegation.

“I thank my colleagues in the Queens Delegation for granting this program the opportunity to expand to all of Queens and I look forward to working with them to continue funding it in the future,” Vallone added.

“Investments by government, including through this program, enable older New Yorkers to continue to age in the City they call home,” Selfhelp Community Services Vice President of External Affairs and Communication Sandy Myers said in her own statement. “We are proud to partner with the New York City Council, and look forward to the continuation and growth of this critical service.”

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