Maplewood pilots free p.m. jitney service for seniors

Maplewood Train Station

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In a program that rolled out Aug. 1, Maplewood’s senior transportation program is expanding to include evenings, with the commuter jitney giving free rides to seniors with a Classic Card to and from the Maplewood Train Station. After the senior jitney stops running, cardholders can take the regular jitney from any if its usual stops beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending with the last jitney run at 8:47 p.m. for an alternative way to reach downtown restaurants and shops.

“We’re piloting it for August, and if we get a good turnout we’ll make it permanent,” Cathy Rowe, Maplewood’s age-friendly initiative coordinator, said in a phone interview with the News-Record on Aug. 3. “People said they wanted it.”

The senior jitney service only runs throughout the daytime hours, and Rowe said that this gives senior citizens who might not be able to drive at night, or who don’t drive at all, a chance to take advantage of the evening hours. On the way to the train station, the commuter jitney tends to be less crowded.

“The senior jitney runs during the day but it stops in the late afternoon,” Rowe said. “So this is another option. It’s usually empty on the way there, so we figured if we have the room we might as well use it.”

The Classic Card gives senior citizen residents discounts at local businesses in both Maplewood and South Orange and can be issued to anyone 65 and older. To sign up, residents can to go Maplewood Town Hall or www.SOMATwotownsforallages.org.

Photo by Amanda Valentovic

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