- Christine QuinnSpeaker, The New York City Council
Please continue the Freedom Van program
Continue to promote senior citizens' independence and quality of life in New York City offered by Freedom Van program.
- Speaker, The New York City Council
The existence of the Freedom Van has enriched lives in many ways.
The Freedom Van is a free transportation service which provides elderly and frail New Yorkers shuttle vans to shopping destinations throughout the city, along with an escort to assist with boarding and packages. Thanks to the Freedom Van, seniors with mobility problems can access the same savings and convenience that non-impaired New Yorkers can. Without it, stores like Fairway, IKEA, Costco, Pathmark, etc. would be unreachable.
Many seniors find it impossible to use buses and subways, especially while trying to carry groceries and other packages. They may have been unable to board MTA buses when drivers refused to lower the steps. And of course, subway stairs are out of the question.
The Van has eliminated these obstacles, and permitted Freedom Van riders the dignity of travel geared to their special needs. The driver assists with all aspects of the Freedom Van experience...help with boarding, loading and unloading purchases, etc., all with a pleasant and courteous attitude.
The other benefit of the Van is how it has helped broaden social lives. Since its inception, riders have had the pleasure of interacting with their peers with whom they share the shopping experience. Lasting friendships have developed. They would not have met without the Freedom Van!
In short, without the Freedom Van and the lively company of fellow riders, seniors would be shut-ins with a very poor quality of life. We ask that you reconsider the plan to shut down this successful lifeline which has provided so many benefits.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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