Call Volume Soars for JCCGCI’s Senior Citizen Transportation Program as it Celebrates 40 Years of Service to the Community
Responding to a growing demand for its services from a population trying to return to some semblance of normalcy even as COVID stubbornly refuses to move on, the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island’s (JCCGCI) Senior Citizen Transportation Program, founded in 1981 and serving older adults throughout the borough of Brooklyn, has been facilitating an increasing number of rides for its clients, with new applications pouring in at a steady pace.
Given the difficulty of obtaining medical appointments, the closure of all senior centers and the ever-present fear of COVID that kept the elderly from venturing out during the pandemic, the volume of calls for transportation plummeted in 2020 and 2021. Those numbers have rebounded significantly in recent months and the program currently assists over 6,000 clients annually, providing an average of more than 500 trips per day and 130,000 trips each year.
Serving clients age 60 and over, the Senior Citizen Transportation Program has a fleet of wheelchair accessible minibuses and also subcontracts services with over a dozen car, bus and ambulette companies throughout Brooklyn. In addition to ferrying clients to medical appointments, senior centers, grocery stores and other essential locations, the program’s English, Russian, Yiddish, Hungarian and Spanish speaking drivers take passengers on small group trips to various destinations including shopping centers and recreational and educational sites.
Thanks to a recently upgraded state-of-the-art management information system (MIS) utilizing advanced technology, JCCGCI’s Senior Citizen Transportation Program is able to manage this massive number of daily rides provided to this huge number of clients residing throughout Brooklyn with utmost efficiency and accountability.
Being homebound has taken a toll on JCCGCI’s elderly clients, the inability to access transportation creating very real health and emotional issues for many older adults. But the current increase in demand for transportation services is a strong indicator that the pandemic has shifted into a recovery phase and