For senior citizens unable to drive due to illness or physical infirmity such as failing eyesight, finding transportation to the doctor, grocery store or pharmacy can be a major problem.
Seniors cannot always expect relatives or friends to be available when they need transportation, and taxi fares can be prohibitive for people living on a fixed income. So what can a senior citizen do?
The Fullerton Parks and Recreation Department has the answer to that question: Sign up for the city’s new “Senior Transportation Program!”
Eloisa Espinoza, community center supervisor, explained there are four separate components to the program, each one suited to the special transportation needs of senior citizens.
The four components are: the Taxi Voucher Program, the OCTA Senior 30-day Bus Pass Program, the Nutrition Transportation Program, and the Weekly Shopping Program.
All of the programs are open to Fullerton residents 60 years of age or older.
Under the taxi program, seniors can purchase vouchers to be used for taxi service anywhere within the Fullerton city limits or up 5 miles beyond the city limits. Taxi service is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and passengers must call California Yellow Cab at (855) 362-4756 to arrange for their rides.
There are two greatly reduced prices for voucher books: Seniors may purchase a $29 value voucher book for $6, and a $50 value book for $10. The vouchers are good for the fiscal year, and are not refundable or transferable.
Senior 30-day OCTA bus passes are also available for Fullerton residents 60 and older, and are good for unlimited use on all local routes. Fee for the $18 value bus pass is $4.
Voucher books and bus passes may be purchased at Fullerton City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave., or at the Fullerton Senior Center, which is temporarily located at St. Mary’s Church, 400 W. Commonwealth Ave., Room 8B. Proof of age and residency will be required at the time of purchase.
The Nutrition Transportation Program provides free transportation to and from the weekly nutrition program and other activities offered at the Fullerton Senior Center. The service is available Monday through Friday.
The final component is the Weekly Shopping Program which provides free transportation from the Senior Center on Wednesdays. The trips are to a different market each month: Albertsons on the first Wednesday, State Brothers the second Wednesday, Target the third Wednesday, and CVS Drug Store the fourth Wednesday.
Reservations may be made at the Senior Center, or by calling the center at (714) 738-6305. Reservations must be made the Monday prior to the desired shopping trip.
To participate in the Nutrition Transportation and Weekly Shopping Programs, residents must complete a short application. Applications are available at the Senior Center. Donations of 50 cents per trip are suggested.
Espinoza said funding for the programs comes from Renewed Measure M (M2). The funding is administered through the OCTA.
Further information about the programs may be obtained by calling either the Fullerton Parks and Recreation Department at (714) 738-6575 or the Fullerton Senior Center at (714) 738-6305.
Seniors requiring special accommodations to take part in the programs are asked to notify department or center staff prior to using one of the programs.