Joyce Wideman uses Fulton County’s senior transportation services to get to the Southeast Senior Center after she stopped driving several years ago. “A lot of mornings, before I got to the bus, I’m hurting,” she said. “Once I get here, it leaves.” ARIELLE KASS/AKASS@AJC.COM

Need for senior transportation increases across metro Atlanta

Local counties put millions of dollars toward helping senior citizens get around, but as the aging population grows, leaders are vexed about how to manage even more need.

In car-dependent metro Atlanta, demand for services to take older residents to doctors, grocery stores and senior centers already outpaces the availability.

“We’re pretty much serving at capacity,” said Kenn Vanhoose, the division manager for Fulton County’s Office of Aging. “We haven’t added clients in quite some time.”

Across metro Atlanta, senior transportation is a growing issue. In the five-county metro Atlanta area, the population age 65 and up is expected to grow to 937,000 people in 2040, from 371,000 in 2015, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

“We know the need exceeds the supply,” said Mary Blumberg, the program manager for strategic planning and development for Aging and Health Resources at the Atlanta Regional Commission. “It’s our number one requested unmet need, no matter how you survey it.”

To read more about senior transportation in the metro area and what local leaders are doing to expand services, click here.

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