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CDTA takes over senior transportation in Albany County

Senior transport switchover nixes individual trips for some

— Seniors in the City of Albany should now call CDTA at 437-5161 for individual rides. All transportation services are free of charge to seniors enrolled in the program.

Neary said Colonie Senior Services has been able to weather the lower reimbursement rate because it receives funding from the town, which makes up the difference.

“The cost nationally to provide (rides) is about $17.50 a ride and our costs are pretty similar to that. That’s not what the county reimburses us. The county reimburses $8.95 per ride,” said Neary.

Transportation services offered through the county’s program were previously handled by MTM, but contract negotiations lead to the Capital District Transportation Authority picking up service starting Jan. 1, 2012.

“CDTA is fully capable of providing the same number of rides, services and serving the same number of seniors as the previous provider,” said Mary Rozak, county spokesperson.

Some towns aren’t affected by the new agreement at all. The Town of Bethlehem offers its own senior transportation service funded by the town and Bethlehem Senior Projects, Inc.

“We are not related to the county. We provide transportation for residents of the town 60 and over,” said Joyce Becker, director of senior services in Bethlehem. “All drivers are volunteers.”

Janack the new arrangement was “good news” and would benefit senior citizens by providing extended hours of operation.

Transportation is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with limited weekend transportation available from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Albany County seniors can call the CDTA number for rides to destinations like dialysis, medical appointments, adult day programs, pharmacies, congregate nutrition sites, senior centers and grocery stores, according to information from the county. Reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance but not later than 48 hours in advance and can be made via phone, email or fax.

To schedule a trip, seniors should call 437-5161, fax 453-8833 or email AlbanyCountyDFA@cdta.org. For questions about the transportation program, call the Department for Aging at 447-7198.

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