NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has launched a series of 59 initiatives aimed at making the city more livable for its growing senior population, including a plan to transport seniors by school bus on trips to supermarkets starting this month.
The free school bus rides from senior centers and “naturally occurring retirement communities” to supermarkets throughout the five boroughs would help increase access to healthy food options, officials said. Other transportation options in the plan include taxi and paratransit vouchers.
The NYC Department of Education school buses will be used during hours they normally stand vacant, officials said, minimizing the program’s costs. Under a successful pilot program in Brooklyn, an estimated 1,800 seniors used the school bus service.
The livability initiatives include measures to improve community and civic participation; housing; public spaces and transportation; and health and social services. The mayor also announced the creation of the Age-Friendly NYC Commission, a public-private partnership, which will be staffed by the New York Academy of Medicine.
New York City is home to 1.3 million older adults, and officials said roughly a half million will be added to that number in the next 20 years.