Many seniors find eventually that they cannot safely operate a vehicle and must find alternate transportation options. Because of Idaho's rural setting, this poses a unique challenge for the state's elderly. Public transportation is not nearly as accessible as in New York or Illinois and many seniors are forced to give up their mobility. Help your loved one navigate the transition from driver to passenger by learning about special transportation options in your area. Encourage them to take advantage of special services so they can continue to live an active lifestyle.
Help guide your loved one through this transition by mapping out a new transportation schedule. Sit down and discuss where they would like to go and explore public and public and private transportation options. Organizing a transportation network with family and friends is often a fair and efficient way for everyone to contribute to a loved one's mobility. Remind the senior in your life that despite losing their driver's license, they are not losing their freedom. Read our Driving and the Elderly article to get more advice on having this difficult conversation.
Transportation in Boise and the Suburbs
Boise's bus system, ValleyRide, services Ada and Canyon Counties, connecting the major cities of Boise, Nampa and Caldwell. To cater to the area's seniors, ValleyRide offers a reduced fare to riders aged 65 and older.
Boise also has a paratransit system, ACCESS, which is available to disabled persons unable to use ValleyRide's fixed route public transit. ACCESS provides origin to destination service in Boise/Garden City Monday through Saturday and Nampa/Caldwell Monday through Friday. To use the ACCESS, you must make reservations up to 14 days in advance and no less than 24 hours in advance.
An additional transportation service for seniors is Boise City Scrip which is a subsidized taxi program allowing Boise seniors to redeem coupons for rides. To qualify, seniors must have a disability preventing them from driving. A physician's verification and proof of address is sometimes required. Coupons come in $7.00 packets of 15 rides and a maximum of 6 packets may be purchased per month. Seniors may acquire their Scrip Taxi Coupons at the Boise Senior Center.
Idaho Area Agencies on Aging
Boise is not the only Idaho city striving to make transportation more accessible to seniors. The best way to learn about transportation options near you is to visit your local Area Agency on Aging. Not only will they be able to educate you about the public transit system, the availability of paratransit services, and senior discounts; but most Area Agencies on Aging also offer their own service to transport seniors to medical appointments, social activities, and other places of their choosing. Take advantage of the free ride and visit the Idaho Commission on Aging website to find your local Area Agency on Aging.
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