Carrie Hadden, a transportation program coordinator at the seniors centre, encourages seniors to read the transportation brochure at (LSR/Special to Black Press Media)

SENIORS: Alternatives to getting around

There are multiple places in the community people can turn to when they no longer have their licence

Sharon Opheim, 78, hasn’t had a licence in more than four years – due to her age.

“I hate having to reply on others to drive me around. Usually, if I need to go somewhere, I’m waiting on someone else’s schedule before I can get to where I need to get to,” said Opheim.

Many people without a licence rely on family members or friends to drive them around.

Opeheim usually relies on her daughter, Kim, or her son, Rick. But, she explained she doesn’t like always having to ask them to take her to appointments, grocery stores, or to visit her husband who lives in a care home.

“When they’re busy or I don’t want to bother them, I sometimes use handyDART. The drivers are always really nice,” explained Opheim.

HandyDART is a door-to-door transit service with a fixed route, for people to use instead of asking for others to assist them in driving.

Fixed-route buses are able to transport wheelchairs and scooters. People who need to bring a wheelchair or scooter must travel with an attendant who can help load and unload the mobile aids.

HandyDART routes include, Aldergrove City centre, Langley City and many more depending on where you live.

Another, private option is Driving Miss Daisy. This is a service that is meant to improve the quality of life for seniors who aren’t able to get places themselves.

Driving Miss Daisy sends a driver to your house to pick you up, to transport you to medical appointments, grocery shopping, the airport, social events, and adult day programs.

Clients will typically be with the same driver every time a car is requested – to keep things consistent. And the price is based off the total amount of time that the client spends with the driver.

One of the most popular driving services used in the Lower Mainland is the Langley Senior Resources Society transportation program.

This program is provided by the non-profit organization, with all the drivers being trained volunteers wanting to help improve a senior’s life.

This program offers pick ups in Langley City, Brookswood, Aldergrove, Walnut Grove, Fort Langley, and Fernridge.

The price for each ride differs, said Carrie Hadden, the transportation program coordinator.

“If it’s a local drive within Langley, say, Langley City, from here to one of the grocery stores close by or to the hospital, to an appointment and back it would be $13.50, and that amount would be billed at the end of the month,” Hadden explained.

This program is funded by the provincial government to help seniors with simple day-to-day tasks.

A few other options for seniors, who are unable to drive, could include buses or taxis – which gives discounts to seniors and can be wheelchair accessible by request.

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