Brookline Community Aging Network

   

Coolidge Corner with trolley - Photo by John Seay

Transportation

Older people often cite transportation as being one of the most important factors in the ability to remain independent, meet the obligations of daily life, and avoid becoming isolated.

Brookline is unique in that three of the major Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority transit lines run through the community. In addition, the town is served by several of the MBTA's bus lines. Also, Brookline, through its Council on Aging, provides a range of transportaion services for elderly citizens.

TRIPPS

Transportation Resources, Information, Planning, and Partnerships for Seniors, supports Brookline and Newton residents age 60+ looking for alternatives to driving, due to age, ability, or choice. Volunteers handle three main functions. First, volunteer Transit Advisors help former drivers learn to use new modes of transit. Second, research volunteers help compile detailed information on transportation options for non-drivers. Finally, outreach volunteers help educate others about TRIPPS and non-driving transportation options by writing, facilitating, teaching, networking, and organizing events.

For information TRIPPS Program Director Kerri Ann Tester, call her at 617-730-2644, or visit the TRIPPS website .

Spring 2016 TRIPPS Newsletter

Senior transportation resource guide is available

TRIPPS is excited to announce the release of the first edition of our Senior Transportation Resource Guide. The brand new guide includes profiles of over 30 options, including information on cost, hours, coverage areas, eligibility, accessibility, contact details, and much more.

Printed copies of the guide will also be available in the Brookline and Newton senior centers on Wednesday, November 16th. It's 160 pages long, spiral bound, and has a light blue cover. Come by and pick one up!

If you would like a copy of the guide mailed to you, please call (617) 730-2644 and leave your full name and complete postal address.

The T

Everyone over the age of 65 is eligible to ride the MBTA at a discounted fare with the use of an MBTA senior identification card. To obtain a card you must go to the Back Bay Station or Downtown Crossing Station and fill out an application. Proof of age is required (for example, a birth certificate or Medicare card). Cards are valid for five years. (Link to the MBTA website.)

Brookline Senior Center Van

Senior Center van - Photo by John Seay The Brookline Senior Center Van provides door-to-door transportation to the Senior Center. The van's hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday, from 9 am to 4 pm, and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm. The suggested donation for this service is $1.00 per ride. For more information or to schedule a ride, call 617-730-2750.

Brookline Elderbus

The Brookline Elderbus makes an hourly circuit every weekday from 9 am to 3 pm that includes the Brookline Senior Center, elderly housing, shopping areas, and the Longwood Medical area. A contribution of 50 cents is requested, though not required. Schedules are available in English, Russian, and Chinese from the Senior Center, the bus driver, or here (English).

Brookline Elder Taxi System (BETS)

BETS is a program that enables income-eligible Brookline residents to purchase discount taxi coupons at reduced rates. $10 worth of taxi coupons can be purchased for $5.

To be eligible for BETS, an indiviudal must be 60 years or older with an income not exceeding $46,300; for a couple the limit is $52,950. First-time purchasers or their representatives must apply at the BETS office (Brookline Senior Center, 93 Winchester St.) with proof of income. Subsequent purchases can be obtained by mail.

BETS is sponsored by the Council on Aging, a Community Development Block grant, and all licensed Brookline cab companies.

For information, call the BETS office at 617-730-2740.

THE RIDE

THE RIDE van - Photo by John Seay THE RIDE is operated by the MBTA and provides handicapped accessible, door-to-door transportation service for those unable to use public transportation due to a medical condition. The program requires an application that must be completed by both the applicant and by a licensed health care or human services provider.

The RIDE provides medical and non-medical transportation on a space available basis to most destinations serviced by the regular MBTA system. One-way transport costs $2.

Application requests and general informaiton are available on the T website or by calling 617-222-5123. To request a trip, or to confirm a trip, call 877-765-7433.

Hospital Shuttle Buses

Partner's Healthcare: Partner's offers many shuttles that travel from various community locations to the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), Faulkner Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Shuttle buses for Brigham and Women's Hospital, leave every 15 minutes from 10 Brookline Place. Individuals going to the Faulkner Hospital or Mass. General can then catch another shuttle at Brigham and Women's. For schedules, click here.

Dana Farber Cancer Institute: A shuttle bus to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute leaves every 30 minutes from 1309 Beacon Street, Trader Joe's.

Medical Escorts

Several local agencies provide volunteers or paid workers that accompany frail seniors to medical appointments. Details here.

The Car-Sharing Alternative

Parked throughout Brookline (and over the line in Boston) are scores of cars that can be rented for as little as an hour at a time.

Zipcar (1-866-4ZIPCAR) is a membership-based car-rental company with a one-time application fee of $25 and an annual fee of $50. Reservation rates start from $8 an hour or $66 per day. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are included in the price.

Zipcar members can reserve cars online or by phone just minutes prior to a trip or as long as a year in advance. Users of zipcars have automated access to the cars they have reserved -- a wireless chip allows access to the car only at the hour it has been reserved. By swiping the windshield with their personal "zipcard," drivers unlock the door, find the key (already in the ignition), and go.