Buffalo is a fairly large city and if you don’t have a car or aren’t able to drive, you can feel very isolated. As a senior, you still need to go places, run errands, and get to appointments on time. However, without the ability to drive yourself, you might feel a little frustrated. Not to worry, Buffalo has some great transportation options and whether you prefer public transportation or taxi service, there is something for every person and budget.
The NFTA is in charge of all buses and trains that are in and around Buffalo and you can get just about anywhere through the bus system. While all buses are wheelchair accessible, they do also have a paratransit system that provides vehicles designed specifically for those with disabilities. These vehicles will also often make additional stops to help accommodate their riders. There is a reduced fare for seniors that are 65 and older, all you need is to have a reduced fare ID which costs $2.
Seniors can also use the Emergency Ride program which helps those who are in an emergency situation and need a ride but won’t be able to get to public transportation within 45 minutes. You do need to pre-register for this program before you use it by registering online or over the phone at 716-855-7211.
Taxis are another option in Buffalo and if you would prefer to have a quieter trip with door to door service, this is a good option. Sometimes your destination is not near a bus stop and if you aren’t able to walk very far, a taxi can safely get you to your destination. There are a few different companies that operate in the Buffalo area including Liberty Yellow Cab and Buffalo Taxi Service. There is also the BUF Buffalo Airport Taxi Service that runs exclusively to and from the airport. Most taxi companies will also let you schedule your ride in advance, so if you know you need to be somewhere at a certain time, you can arrange a taxi to pick you up.
In-home caregivers provide many different services to seniors and transportation is often one of them. If you already have a caregiver, you can check to see if they will provide transportation as well. They might only offer incidental transportation if there is an emergency or they could offer full transportation to any destination while they are in your home. If you worry about being out alone or in a car with a stranger, this is a good option and many providers like Homewatch Caregivers, The Caregiver’s Choice, and Preferred Care At Home offer these services.
One of the services that are offered through Erie County Senior Services is transportation. This is a program for seniors in Erie County that are 60 years or older and is a curb to curb transportation service for those that can’t use regular means of transportation. You do have to schedule your rides well in advance (two weeks for medical appointments and one week for all others) but it is free. There is a suggested donation of $3 per trip, but if you can’t pay you won’t be denied service. Erie County also put together a list of all different kinds of transportation services available to seniors in the area. These include paid trips as well as free or donation based services. Their list includes all of Erie County so make sure you choose a service that operates in your area.
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