Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Minibus Coming to Help Seniors; All You Have to Do Is Call to Be Picked Up

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Minibus Coming to Help Seniors; All You Have to Do Is Call to Be Picked Up

Article excerpt

Byline: DAN SCANLAN

It's big and its coming to a house near you starting Monday, Nov. 14.

But only if you call it.

The 15-passenger Jacksonville Transportation Authority minibus will be Mandarin's second Ride Request program when it starts, focusing on the community bordered by Julington Creek, San Jose Boulevard, Sunbeam Road and St. Augustine Road.

Aimed at helping senior citizens get from their homes to stores, libraries and the central bus transfer stop at San Jose Boulevard and Marbon Road, it will also pick up and drop off residents at the Mandarin Senior Center at 3848 Hartley Road.

Senior center advisory board President Frances Bosman received a sneak peek of the minibus Oct. 26, when it dropped in on at a Council on Elder Affairs meeting at the Hartley Road center. She said it's wonderful that the service will start soon, and glad the center will be one of its regular stops.

"Some may want it to reach farther out to where they live, but there are connections to other bus services to help that," Bosman said. "We are delighted and happy that we will have the kick-off at our center, and hope it will give the seniors a bit more leeway so they don't have to come on the center's bus, and can stay later for some of the center's activities."

City Councilwoman Sharon Copeland, who joined the senior center's advisory board in lobbying for the minibus, said she is pleased the funding was found to bring the wheelchair-accessible vehicle to the community.

"We were hoping it would be here in October and it barely made it, but we are very excited about getting the route started, and it will be in time for the holidays," Copeland said. "It increases quality of life, and anyone in Mandarin can use it. They can call and the bus will pick them up on location. …

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