By Sarah Fletcher
Museums, shows, cultural events and even Costco are a short ride away at no cost for Manhattan’s older adults thanks to the nonprofit New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’ Community Arranged Resident Transportation Program (Project CART). Funded primarily by the New York City Department for the Aging and through voluntary contributions of the riders ($1.00 per ride is suggested), the program has been providing older adults with individual and group transportation five days per week for more than 40 years.
Each year, Project CART helps thousands of passengers – 60 and over, including those with wheelchairs, living in Manhattan Community Districts #1 through #8 (from the tip of Manhattan to 96th Street on the East Side and 110th Street on the West Side) – get where they need to go. In addition to culture and shopping, riders use the vans to go to medical appointments, senior centers, churches, synagogues, etc.
Rhoda Glass, an 82-year-old resident of the Upper West Side, who also serves as president of the advisory council of the Hamilton Senior Center/PROJECT FIND at 141 West 73rd Street, has been organizing group trips crosstown to Costco and East River Plaza Mall at 517 East 117th Street every year since 2015, with the exception of the pandemic timeframe.
“The vans accommodate 10 people, so every month I arrange a trip,” said Glass. “It’s fun, we all enjoy it and with our shopping carts it really is the best way to get there; the bus and subway can present problems. The drivers are great, we often have the same one who has a sense of humor and makes us laugh. I call a couple of weeks to a month in advance and schedule the trip.”
Holly Zinn, LCSW, Director of Lincoln House Outreach NORC (Naturally Occuring Retirement Community) at West 66th Street and West End Avenue organizes four trips a month for older adult Lincoln House residents. “We have a very loyal following with these trips,” said Zinn. “Three are devoted to shopping and one trip a month is something special, like visits to the New York Botanical Garden, City Island, the Morgan Library, the Whitney, Coney Island or a Broadway show.” “I take suggestions on where people would like to go, and we collaborate.”
Zinn schedules trips to places it would be difficult for people to get to via public transportation. “Project CART is terrific,” according to Sheila Stanger, an 80-year-old resident of Lincoln House who goes on most of the trips and calls them “a special treat” with lovely drivers.
Last week they went to the Brooklyn Museum. “You’re driven there and back and spend an hour and a half to two hours at the location,” noted Stenger. “The trips are just wonderful to have.”
Project CART requests that people schedule trips as far in advance as possible and at least 24 hours in advance. Transportation services are available between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
To schedule a ride or request information, call (212) 956-0855, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, Project CART offers a more limited private car service for emergencies as well as medical, social service, entitlement appointments and special events.
New York Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYFSC) is dedicated to helping New York’s older adults enjoy healthier, safer, more productive and dignified lives in their homes and communities, and to help them avoid premature institutionalization.
Wow! I never knew this existed! More than 40 years?? Why no publicity about this until now? Will make a note of all this – thank you.
This could be a godsend. I have not been able to get around for quite a while because of back pain. I will try service soon. Thank you for info