Report on Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Meeting to Mashpee Chamber
You don’t need to read further than the title of this article to understand why I make it my business to read the Mashpee Chamber Newsletter. I read it because I learn about all sorts of things that are important to our community. In one issue I learned about the June 20th Regional Transit Authority meeting, the subject of which would be Cape Cod transportation for seniors. After seeing this notice, I felt that as an Elder Law and Estate Planning attorney, AND as a local businesswoman I should attend.
The meeting was packed. With the numbers of seniors increasing on the Cape exponentially, it was obvious that the issue of “getting around” is important to seniors and their families, especially when some may no longer be able to comfortably drive to their destinations. No less obvious is the fact that many of our customers are seniors, and many more would be if they could just get here! Take a stroll around Mashpee Commons and count their numbers. They are shopping, eating, and enjoying the entertainments that are offered. But many seniors can’t be your customers if they are isolated in their homes. More important than that, their quality of life in this beautiful place is greatly diminished if they lack the means to leave their homes after they have ceased driving.
The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority headed up by Tom Cahir has been considering our seniors’ needs for a long time. They are taking innovative steps to help seniors remain an active and engaged part of their Cape communities. The report from Mr. Cahir indicated that the authority is working to provide senior accessible vans, with special “loaner” vans available in case councils on aging need them for additional excursions. These vans are not just used to transport people to doctors’ appointments; they are lifelines to cultural events here and in Boston for seniors. People enjoy socializing, renewing new and old friendships, and even sing while traveling to events. The vans are not the only initiative at the Transit Authority. There is an initiative to enable free travel on Wednesdays throughout the summer, and much, much more. Come to the next meeting at the Transit Authority and find out. Or closer to home, ask Lynn Waterman, Director of our Senior Center, who serves as Council on Aging Co-Chair for the Transit Authority about this wonderful resource. Or ask Sarah Peake, our state Representative who made it her business to be at this meeting. She said “The challenge of rural communities is that aging in place [means] not being alone and in isolation. Aging in place should be synonymous with aging well.”
Written by Susana Lannik
Lannik Law, LLC
2 Oak Street, Suite 202
P.O. Box 457
Mashpee, MA 02649