Ticket to ride: Pols promote Access-A-Ride for eligible passengers

On Thursday, September 4, State Senator Marty Golden and Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis hosted a press conference at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center, 9941 Fort Hamilton Parkway, to discuss seniors’ options regarding new services that Access-A-Ride (AAR) offers and why it’s important to take advantage of them.

After a recent forum on AAR held at Holy Angels Academy on August 27, Golden and Malliotakis felt it was imperative to inform locals further of the service.

“I join my colleagues in leading the fight for new and improved Access-A-Ride,” said Golden. “For years, my office has heard the horror stories about the missed doctor appointments and three-hour waits to get home for dinner. Those instances are unacceptable. Each of you is eligible and deserves better service. Those stories have prevented many from signing up for Access-A-Ride, making it very difficult.”

During the conference, members of the senior center also learned about the voucher system/car service system, whereby passengers can get same-day service, in this community as well as outside the borough.

“What we’ve found out is that vehicles are coming very late. A lot of the drivers don’t know where they are going because the Paratransit vehicles come from other boroughs,” noted Malliotakis. ”When you’re using a local car service, it’s better because they’re drivers from the community, so they know Brooklyn well.”

Nonetheless, “Not too many people have access to those voucher systems, and there should be more operating today than there are,” said Golden. “I believe the number is 1,000 citywide. That is ridiculous. We should have 1,000 in the Bay Ridge area alone so that seniors can access those rides and get to where they need to go.”

Towards the end of the conference, Golden and Malliotakis shed light on the AAR’s debit card system. “NYC Transit Authority and AAR have also created a new debit card system which is a safe and convenient way to pay for your travel instead of using your credit card. We’re urging you to help us get this message out across the community,” Golden said.

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