METRO, AARP team up to get more seniors mobile

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- METRO wants their New Bust Network and rail line accessible to everybody, including senior citizens. So, in a special partnership with the AARP, they're training those that are 50 years and older how to hop on board.

"I have four children, they all have children, and I don't feel like bothering them," says Jessie Herrera.

He may only be 69 years-young, but he's retired from driving during peak hours in Houston.

"As you get older, you get paranoid when people get too close to you," explains Herrera.

Now, he's brushing up on his public transportation knowledge as a part of METRO's program with the AARP.

"At AARP we work on behalf of the 50-plus, and a lot of our members get to the point where they're unable to drive, and we want to keep them as active as long as possible," says Shondra Wygal, Associate State Director with the AARP.

Through this program, the 50-plus demo learns how to buy a fare card, choose their routes, and then, they actually take a bus and rail ride.

"Riding and doing the actual tour is what will take that fear away," says Margarita Dunlap, a Public Affairs Representative with METRO.

On the bus tour, senior citizens learn how to tap their cards, listen to bus messaging, and how to tell the bus driver it's their stop.

Toloria Allen is part of a group called Active Older Adults. She's taking what she's learned from training and helping other adults.

"It's very user friendly, I'd say. The fact that the buses kneel for those who might have some challenges stepping up onto the bus - just the ease and use for the bus and transferring to from the bus to the rail line. Very simple," says Allen.

And the best part, public transportation is affordable.

"If they are 65-69, it's half price. If they're 70 and over, which are the glorious years, we let them ride for free - any of our services they can ride for free," says Dunlap.

Check in at this website for the next AARP and METRO event: