New bus adds to transportation options at senior housing buildings

DEARBORN – Residents in Housing Department buildings can be seen cruising around in a new bus.

The vehicle can accommodate 14 passengers, including two in wheelchairs via a hydraulic lift.

The $51,800 bus is a 2016 Ford E-450 with a gasoline engine. Delivered on Sept. 4, it replaces a slightly larger vehicle that was more than 13 years old.

Housing Department buses are used to transport building residents who are senior citizens and people who are disabled. They take them for shopping, banking, and hair-styling appointments, in addition to trips for special events.

For some, the buses are their main transportation after they are forced to give up their vehicles for financial or health reasons. For others, the buses provide convenient door-to-door service, especially in inclement weather.

Buses run from Monday to Friday, usually between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and are free to residents of city-owned senior housing buildings. Housing buses provide more than 250 rides each week to residents. Each apartment building has regular bus service three days a week.

Other busing available for all senior residents

All Dearborn residents age 60 or older are eligible for regular Senior Busing services offered through the Dearborn Senior Division of the Recreation and Parks Department. The service also covers those who are younger than 60 if they have a SMART disability card.

Residents are asked to call to schedule rides two weeks in advance, although reservations can be taken as close as four days ahead. Tuesdays include visits to banks and drug stores, and Thursdays focus on grocery shopping. Medical appointments can be scheduled for any weekday.

Rides are $1 each way, and the service runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Transportation is only provided in Dearborn, but passengers age 65 or older can receive free bus or connector tickets to link to other SMART services.
To schedule a ride, call 313-943-4083. For information in Arabic, call 313-943-2783.