Several free transportation services for senior drivers in Central New York

SCAT Van is a free transportation service for seniors in Cayuga County.

June Davis of Baldwinsville turns 91 this June, but she hasn't been behind the wheel of a car in years. She voluntarily surrendered her driver's license at 85 and doesn't miss it much.

"I got myself a bus schedule. My friends would come and take me places. So I didn't see that much difference," says Davis.

For many other seniors, giving up their license, means giving up their independence.

Now, some are pointing to this Eastwood crash as a reason why some elderly drivers shouldn't be on the road. Just last week, a 90-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle in Eastwood and the whole thing was caught on tape. The man told witnesses he accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. He died three days later.

Here in Central New York, there are companies that will transport older drivers for free.

The SCAT van service which started in 1976 is available to any senior within Cayuga County. They have seven vans and last year transported more than 14,000 people.

Sandy Keplin started volunteering with the SCAT van five years ago and says the donation-based, door-to-door service will take drivers wherever they need to go.

"We might pick a lady up and take her to the bank and then take her to get groceries or take her to Walmart or take her to the mall shopping or to visit a friend for lunch. We've told them, we'll take you wherever you want to go in the county," says Keplin.

In Onondaga County, Baldwinsville seniors can take advantage of the B'ville Express Driving Program. Transportation coordinator, Ellen Stevens, says it's a service the riders and volunteer drivers enjoy.

"Last year we provided about 1,400 rides to seniors in our area, probably using about 27 drivers," says Stevens.

It's a service that has made life without wheels a little easier for Davis.

"The drivers have been especially courteous and punctual and polite and it couldn't be any better," says Davis.

Click on this link for a list of senior transporation services available in Onondaga County.

Hanging up the car keys doesn't have to be a roadblock to your freedom.