Fare-Free and Low-Cost ‘Age-Friendly’ Transportation Options
Learn about the affordable, accessible transit services in some of the towns, cities and counties enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities
More than half of the communities enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities are working on creating or improving age-friendly transportation programs and services. Herewith, examples of some of the solutions already in place.
Residents of this incorporated town in Miami-Dade County have access to two free local transportation options.
The Cutler Bay Town Circulator bus operates from 5:30 a.m. until 8 p.m., and smartphone users can track the bus in real-time along its route. Older adults and Social Security beneficiaries can ride for free with a Golden Passport EASY Card, which they can apply for online.
With GO Connect, a fare-free, app-based on-demand transportation service, users can enter their desired pickup and drop-off locations, track their rides, and access driver information. The app is available in English and Spanish. The service, which is provided in partnership with the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works, is funded through the county's Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust.
- Video: Get Around Cutler Bay for FREE with GO Connect!
- Cutler Bay Town Circulator
- Miami-Dale County Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust
- Age-Friendly Community Profile: Cutler Bay, Florida
- AARP Livable Communities Map: Cutler Bay, Florida
VillageRides, a program of the Jewish Council for the Aging, offers administrative and technical support to community-based organizations that provide volunteer-based transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. The on-demand service can be used by qualifying residents for rides to medical appointments, grocery shopping and more.
Available in more than a dozen towns, villages and communities in Montgomery County (which is a member of the AARP age-friendly network) and Prince George's County, VillageRides is funded in part by a federal grant (see the link below) to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Montgomery County provides the 20 percent matching funds the grant requires.
- Jewish Council for the Aging
- Age-Friendly Profile: Montgomery County, Maryland
- AARP Livable Communities Map: Montgomery County, Maryland
- U.S. Department of Transportation: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities
Expanded in 2020 to operate Monday through Friday, the Pitkin County Senior Van provides free transportation to people age 60 or older in and around Aspen, Woody Creek and Snowmass Village. In 2022, the van served more than 1,000 older residents with rides to the local senior center, shopping, medical appointments and more.
The county also has a reduced taxi fare option for seniors and it partners with a local nonprofit, A Little Help, which pairs volunteer drivers with older adults in need of rides and other assistance.
Additional free transit options include the Aspen Downtowner and the Snowmass Village Shuttle, both of which are available to people of all ages.
The Salem Skipper is an on-demand fleet of shuttle vans that provide low-cost, shared rides within the Salem city limits to people of all ages.
Established in 2020 with funding from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the program was created by the Salem for All Ages task force in partnership with the city’s traffic and parking department. Since its launch, the Skipper has provided more than 35,000 rides, including thousands to residents over age 65.
Riders can request a ride via a smartphone-based app or by calling a reservation number. (Both can be accessed in English or Spanish.) Senior citizens, middle school and high school students, and people with disabilities pay $1 per trip.
The highest levels of ridership are from neighborhoods where 4 out of 10 residents have incomes below the poverty line and a quarter of the households do not own a vehicle. Most rides are related to shopping, health care, and after-school activities. A pilot program is providing Salem Hospital with a customized platform that can book rides for discharged patients who don't have their own transportation.
Dalan Hwang is a consultant with the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.
Page published May 2023
More about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities
The weekly, award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter provides local leaders with information and inspiration for making their town, city or neighborhood more livable for older adults and people of all ages. Subscribe today!
Find articles, publications and more
Our Free Publications!
Find articles, publications and more