Boerum Hill

Brownstone Brooklyn’s Senior Shuttle to cease operations

Never fear, says Heights and Hills: Borough-wide replacement planned

May 4, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Heights and Hills Senior Shuttle will be retired at the end of June, the victim of funding changes. Shown: The shuttle makes its way along Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights. Photo by Mary Frost

A shuttle bus serving seniors from Brooklyn Heights to Carroll Gardens for more than 20 years will stop rolling at the end of June.

The shuttle provides seniors with access to shopping, medical facilities and senior centers, including St. Charles Jubilee and Eileen Dugan centers.

Judy Willig, executive director of Heights and Hills, a nonprofit that provides supportive services for seniors in Brooklyn, said in a letter to riders that times have changed since the shuttle launched in 1994.

With the closing of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), ridership of the shuttle dropped dramatically, she wrote.

At the same time, “the Department for the Aging has recently changed how they are funding transportation programs for seniors. Effective July 1, 2017, the Department for the Aging will be funding one provider for the entire borough of Brooklyn, with the intention of serving more people more cost-effectively.”

Willig told the Brooklyn Eagle that she would be meeting with the new transportation provider and the Department for the Aging in a few weeks “to work out the transition.”

Not only does the shuttle ply its way along a regular route from the Brooklyn Bridge to Third Place in Carroll Gardens, but it also provides special shopping trips, such as the twice-monthly run to Fairway in Red Hook.

“Until the funding replacement, there will be no way to get [to Fairway],” said Amy, a volunteer for seniors at 75 Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights.

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“It gives people the opportunity to shop out of the neighborhood two times a month,” she said. “Fairway has a beautiful view. You can sit down and have coffee, do a little shopping. It’s a day out.”

 UPDATE: Willig said that Heights and Hills will be working with the new provider to make sure that the transition goes smoothly, and while the service may look different (meaning there probably won’t be a shuttle making the same loop around the neighborhood), individuals who use Heights and Hills’ current service will still be able to get transportation to the same destinations. See her entire comment below this story.

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