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Ride on the BLT: New transportation program aims to keep seniors independent

Margot Sweiton, left, and Mary Revette, residents of O’Brien Road Senior Apartments, wait for rides outside the facility on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Revette was taking a bus to her destination made possible through a grant secured by Canton Woods Senior Center while Sweiton was waiting for her granddaughter to pick her up. Sweiton said she plans to use the bus in the future.

Margot Sweiton, left, and Mary Revette, residents of O’Brien Road Senior Apartments, wait for rides outside the facility on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Revette was taking a bus to her destination made possible through a grant secured by Canton Woods Senior Center while Sweiton was waiting for her granddaughter to pick her up. Sweiton said she plans to use the bus in the future.

— Senior citizens are excited about a new bus transportation program provided in Greater Baldwinsville.

“Where I was before, they always had a bus,” said O’Brien Road Senior Apartment resident Mary Revette, who participated in the new program known as Baldwinsville Local Transportation, or BLT.

Revette joined several other residents on the program’s inaugural trip Oct. 2 to Wegmans.

“It’s good just to get out, even to just have a cup of coffee with the girls,” Revette said.

Margot Sweiton, who had plans with her granddaughter on Oct. 2, said she definitely plans to use the BLT bus, as well.

“This is great,” she said of the program, which will initially provide service to the most isolated senior living sites in Van Buren and Lysander including O’Brien Road Senior Apartments and sites in Radisson where there is no regular bus route.

“The residents of O'Brien Road were very excited when they learned of the opportunity, and pleased with the first trip,” said Ruth Troy, director of Canton Woods Senior Center. Troy spearheaded the project.

Funded by The Community Heath Foundation of Western and Central New York through a Neighborhood Action Initiative grant, which was awarded to Canton Woods in July, BLT is geared to provide transportation to individuals 60 years and older.

“The goal of Neighborhood Action Initiative is to create and test best practice and evidence-based projects that will increase the number of people who are able to remain in their homes and neighborhoods as they grow older,” Troy said.

Troy added the grant was awarded after a needs assessment (conducted by Community Health Foundation and the Gifford Foundation) identified transportation as an area of high importance and low current success. Based on the outcome, transportation became the focus of the grant targeting the most isolated sites in Van Buren and Lysander.

“The first part of the transportation program is to allow seniors to get groceries,” Troy continued. “The second step is socialization, getting them to Canton Woods Senior Center [and other destinations].”

She added that another part of the grant is sustainability, which includes the future and possible expansion of the program utilizing support from local businesses to promote continued success.

“We are very excited about [this] new transportation program,” Troy said. “This is the beginning of many good things.”

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Comments

hobbyjam 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Why are handicapped people 59 years old and younger prohibited to use this service? Doesn't seem right. I live at the Meadows and its so hard to get around since centro doesn't want to have a busline here.

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