AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The Amherst Department of Senior Services has been gifted a retired paratransit van from the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA).

The van represents a great opportunity for older adults in Amherst, according to a news release sent to 22News from the Town of Amherst. The department has been without an accessible van to transport older adults with mobility challenges for several years. This has resulted in fewer transportation options for seniors who are not able to drive.  

With the accessible van, Amherst Senior Services will have a way to send those using walkers and wheelchairs, and the means with which to resume their medical ride transportation program. There are around 5,200 individuals that are aged 60 and older living in Amherst, so there is a clear need for increased transportation options.

Older adults have expressed that there is a lack of transportation options and have said that they are concerned that they will be unable to find reliable and safe transportation for medical appointments. These concerns are even worse when the individual has mobility challenges and that they need access to a lift to board the vehicle.

Amherst Senior Services Director, Hayley Bolton, said, “We are thrilled to be able to offer more transportation options to our vibrant community of older adults.”