Transportation is a vital service for many older adults who want to continue to live independently in their communities.
If you don’t have access to a car or can’t drive for any reason, there are community and state resources that can help. The Human Service Transportation Office (HST) within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) shares information on different programs that can help you get where you need to go.
Senior Discounts for the MBTA
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) offers reduced fares on bus, subway, commuter rail, and ferry services on public transportation routes for Massachusetts residents who are 65 or older. You can get a Senior CharlieCard at the CharlieCard Store at Downtown Crossing Station in Boston and at some local Councils on Aging across the Commonwealth. Contact your local senior center to find out if you can sign up for a Senior CharlieCard there.
THE RIDE, operated by the MBTA, provides door-to-door service to metro Boston residents who can’t ride public transportation on their own because of a physical, cognitive, or mental disability. You’ll be traveling with other passengers who are going in the same direction.
The fare for a registered passenger or guest is $3.15 for a local, one-way trip. If you plan to use THE RIDE, you should book your trip 1–7 days in advance. You can bring a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) for free, and one other person can travel with you as a guest.
Regional Transit Authorities
Whether you live in the Berkshires or on the South Shore, there are 15 regional transit authorities in Massachusetts that provide public transportation options.
Councils on Aging
Many Councils on Aging and senior centers across the state help coordinate travel for seniors in their communities, through volunteer driving programs or transportation services. Contact your local Council on Aging to find out what’s available in your town.
MassHealth Transportation Services
To be eligible for the program, you must meet certain requirements:
- Your doctor must authorize your need for transportation by filling out the proper forms.
- The transportation must be to and from a MassHealth provider for a service that’s covered by MassHealth.
- You must be unable to access public and private transportation.
To learn more, contact the MassHealth Customer Service Center:
- Phone — (800) 841-2900
- TTY — (800) 497-4648
Some Senior Care Options plans also provide transportation to appointments. Contact your plan directly to find out more.
If you want to learn more about the different transportation services for seniors in your area, MassOptions can connect you to local community-based agencies across the state that serve older adults. MassOptions can also help you coordinate all of your health care needs with your transportation.
You can search for transportation services on your own, or contact a MassOptions specialist to discuss your needs by calling (844) 422-6277 or using the online chat feature.
Finally, if you’d prefer to plan your trip online, you can explore these transportation services and more by visiting Ride Match.
Being able to get from place to place is a big part of staying independent as you get older. Explore your options to make sure you have access to transportation when you need it.
Have a question about transportation services for seniors? Comment below or tweet us @MassGov.
Tags: Councils on Aging, mass mobility, masshealth, MBTA, paratransit, Senior Care Options, senior center, senior transportation, seniors, state services, the ride, transportation, transportation for seniors, volunteer drivers
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