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Senior: Senior Mobility Guide

Transportation Options and Services to Help You Stay Mobile and Active

IntroductionSenior Mobility Guide Cover

For most of us, our days are spent on the go, running errands, visiting the grandkids, meeting friends for coffee, and just going about our daily activities. As we age, it may become difficult to drive, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love. There are many ways that you can stay independent at any age! The resources found in this guide will help you get around no matter how you travel.  VTA’s bus and light rail is one of the most flexible options, and we have programs to help you learn to use the service. We have online instructional videos, we offer group travel training, and our Information Service Representatives are available to answer your questions and plan your trips. Even so, this is not the only option you have.

The Senior Mobility Guide is arranged in sections that provide information on public transportation, local shuttles, community and private transportation services, driver safety resources, fitness, and community information and assistance programs.  We hope you will use this guide often. It could make all the difference in the world for you or someone you care for. Please contact us with any suggestions on how this guide can be improved to help you.  Here are some common situations and questions that you may find helpful.

I drive and plan to keep driving as long as I safely can.

A drivers safety course, publications, and online resources can help you keep your skills sharp and make sure you know how to adjust for changes as you get older.

Adjustments to your car may help you drive with more confidence.

I don’t feel as confident driving as I used to.

Public Transportation may be an option for you.

If you haven’t ridden the bus or light rail in a long time, you might be surprised by how much they’ve changed.

VTA Daycation Program can help you learn about public transportation.

I’ve cut back on driving and I’m looking for other ways to get around.

Depending on your physical abilities, public transportation may be an option for some of your needs.

VTA buses and light rail have many features that make them easier to use.

If using the bus is too hard for you, you might be eligible for services that pick you up at home and take you where you want to go.

I am concerned about a friend or family member who probably shouldn’t be driving anymore.

Several publications provide tips about how to talk to friends and family about driving.

Get the latest information about DMV policies on testing, reporting, and license renewal.

What do I do if I can’t drive, and the bus and light rail can’t get me where I want to go?

You may be able to get a ride on services operated by community organizations.

I need to go to my doctor’s office or medical appointment, but I need help.

Services operated by community organizations may be able to help you.

Private transportation services may be able to help you.

What do I do if I need help from another person when I am out and about?

Services operated by community organizations may be able to help you.

I want to stay active, healthy, and independent.

There are organizations that provide information and assistance to help you find services that will meet your needs.

Transit Service Information

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
(408) 321-2300

VTA provides public transit in Santa Clara County and connects with neighboring transit operators. All VTA buses are equipped with lifts or ramps to assist those who use mobility devices or have difficulty with steps. Full-size buses are equipped with a kneeling feature which lowers the front of the bus easing the first step when boarding. Light rail platforms are level to the train, allowing riders to easily board the light rail train.  All buses and light rail trains automatically announce major transfer points, intersections and destinations; information is also displayed on electronic message boards inside the vehicle. External speakers also announce route number a vehicle destinations.
VTA’s senior riders’ webpage ( teaches older adults about programs and services that may help them, their friends, and family. It gives a complete and detailed description on how to ride, ideas for where to go, how to be safe on transit, and other information to help older adults safely travel on VTA. 

For more information about VTA services, call (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321-2330, from 650 area code and South Santa Clara County toll area (800) 894-9908, or visit
(800) 660-4287

Caltrain operates commuter rail service on the Bay Area Peninsula between San Jose and San Francisco, with commute-hour service to Gilroy. Caltrain has 15 stations in Santa Clara County, and connects with BART in Millbrae at the Millbrae Transit Center. Every train has at least one wheelchair accessible car that can accommodate up to two wheelchairs.  Caltrain stations that are not currently wheelchair accessible are 22nd Street, South San Francisco, Broadway, Atherton, California Avenue and College Park.

For more information on Caltrain services, call (800) 660-4287, TTY (650) 508-6448, or visit

Highway 17 Express
(408) 321-2300

Highway 17 Express bus provides service between downtown San Jose, Scotts Valley, and downtown Santa Cruz (Metro Center). All Highway 17 Express buses are lift or ramp equipped, and accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Service is offered seven days a week. On weekends and holidays, buses begin or end at the San Jose Diridon Station.

For more information on Highway 17 Express services, call (831) 425-8600, dial 711 for CRS Hearing & Speech Impaired Services, or visit

(800) 660-4287

SamTrans provides fixed-route bus service throughout San Mateo County and into parts of San Francisco and Palo Alto.  All SamTrans buses are lift and ramp equipped, and accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Free travel training is available for people with disabilities who want to learn to ride SamTrans buses or Caltrain.  For more information about travel training, call (650) 508-6202.

For information about SamTrans service, call (800) 660-4287, TTY (650) 508-6202, or visit

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
(650) 992-2278

BART is a regional rail service which connects to VTA in Fremont. The entire BART system consists of five lines with 44 stations in San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties. BART has many features to make it easy for seniors and persons with disabilities to use. All BART cars have space for wheelchairs. Station agents are available at all times in each station to help seniors and persons with disabilities.

For more information on BART services or ticket vendors call (650) 992-2278, TTY (510) 839-2220, or visit

AC Transit
(510) 891-4777

AC Transit provides public transportation to Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. All buses are lift and ramp equipped, and accessible to persons with disabilities.

For more information on AC Transit services call (510) 891-4777 or visit

San Benito Express
(831) 636-4161

San Benito County Express provides transportation service to the communities of Hollister, San Juan Bautista, and Gilroy.  County Express operates a complementary Dial-A-Ride service, as well as service to Gilroy’s Caltrain and Greyhound stations, and Gavilan College with connecting service to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. All of San Benito County buses are equipped with lifts or ramps that can be used by people who use mobility devices or cannot climb steps.

For more information on San Benito County Express services call (831) 636-4161 or visit

Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST)
(888) 678-2871

Monterey-Salinas Transit provides public transportation to Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad and the County of Monterey. Monterey-Salinas Transit buses are fully accessible on all lines. The MST 55 connects with VTA service in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and downtown San Jose.

For more information on Monterey-Salinas Transit accessible services, call (888) 678-2871.

Santa Cruz Metro
(831) 425-8600

Santa Cruz Metro provides public transportation throughout Santa Cruz County. All buses are lift and ramp equipped, and accessible to persons with disabilities. The Highway 17 Express connects with Santa Cruz Metro service in Scotts Valley and downtown Santa Cruz.

For more information on Santa Cruz Metro services, call (831) 425-8600, dial 711 for CRS Hearing & Speech Impaired Services, or visit


To help older adults become familiar with their transportation options, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority offers the Daycation Program. The program offers the Train-the-Trainer Academy. Through classroom and on-the-bus training, service providers are taught to conduct their own “Daycations.” As part of the Daycation Program, VTA also offers free group training to help older adults learn to navigate the bus and light rail system.
For more information about the Daycation Program, call (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321-2330, from 650 area code and South Santa Clara County toll area (800) 894-9908 or email

ADA Paratransit

If you are unable to use VTA bus and light rail service some or all of the time due to a disability, you may be eligible for Americans with Disability Act (ADA) paratransit. Paratransit service is available throughout Santa Clara County and will come to your home and take you to your destination. Trips can be reserved up to three days in advance. The paratransit service is operated by OUTREACH, Inc. Before you can use ADA paratransit, OUTREACH will need to evaluate your eligibility; this process may take up to 21 days.
For more information about the ADA paratransit service in Santa Clara County please call OUTREACH at (408) 436-2865 or visit  You can also call (408) 321-2300 or (800) 894-9908 for general information on transit and ADA paratransit services.

Local Shuttles

Local shuttles are typically vans or shuttle buses that serve small areas within cities and communities weekdays during the midday with some exceptions.

Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH)
(408) 321-2300

Service Area: Downtown San Jose
Fare: FREE
Eligibility: Open
Connections: San Jose Diridon Station, Light Rail Stations, and San Jose State University

For more information: Call (408) 321-2300 or visit
The DASH is operated by VTA. All mini-buses operating this service are lift-equipped and accessible to person with disabilities.

Palo Alto Shuttles
(650) 329-2520

Service Area: Palo Alto
Fare: FREE
Eligibility: Open
Crosstown Shuttle: Main Library, Avenidas, Lytton Gardens, Channing House, Jordan Middle School, Mitchell Park, 4 JLS Middle School, Stevenson House, and Midtown Shopping District
Embarcadero Shuttle: Palo Alto Caltrain Station to the Embarcadero/Baylands
For More Information: Call (650) 329-2520 or email

The City of Palo Alto operates free weekday shuttle service serving the Palo Alto area. All shuttles are equipped with lifts, and accessible for individuals with disabilities. Bus stops are marked with a “Palo Alto Shuttle” sign, a sticker on a regular VTA bus stop sign, or a “Shuttle” decal on a stop sign pole in residential areas. The Palo Alto Free Shuttle operates two lines.

Marguerite Shuttle
(650) 723-9362

Service Area: Stanford University Campus and
Downtown Palo Alto
Fare: FREE
Eligibility: Open
Connections: Stanford Shopping Center, Downtown Palo Alto, California Avenue, Town & Country Village, and San Antonio Shopping Center
For more information: Call (650) 723-9362 or email

The Marguerite Shuttle is operated by Stanford University.  All shuttles are wheelchair accessible. The shuttle travels around campus and connects to nearby transit, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Community Transportation Services

American Cancer Society – Road to Recovery
(800) 227-2345
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Fare: FREE
Eligibility: Ambulatory cancer patients
For more information: Call (800) 227-2345 or visit

American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery Program is staffed by volunteer drivers who pick up cancer patients at their homes and take them to anything cancer related, including doctor’s appointments, radiation treatments and chemotherapy.

Heart of the Valley
(408) 241-1571
Service Area: Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, San Jose zip codes: 95117, 95125, 95126, 95128, 95129, 95130, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale
Hours: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
Fare: FREE; Donations welcomed
Eligibility: 65+ years old
For more information: (408) 241-1571 or visit

Heart of the Valley Services for Seniors, Inc. provides seniors with escorted transportation and in-home services. These services are provided by volunteers and include minor gardening, computer assistance, small home repairs, cleaning out closets or sheds, and/or general companionship.

Hospice of the Valley
(408) 559-5600
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Hours: Vary according to volunteer availability
Fare: FREE; Donations welcomed
Eligibility: Limited to Hospice families only
For more information: (408) 559-5600 or visit

Hospice of the Valley provide limited transportation within Santa Clara County to families whose loved ones wish to live the remainder of their lives with peace and dignity when a cure is no longer an option.

Love in the Name of Christ (LOVE INC.)
(408) 723-9223
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Hours: Vary according to volunteer availability
Fare: FREE; Donations welcomed
Eligibility: Open
For more information: (408) 723-9223 or visit

Love, Inc. is a network of local church ministries and church volunteers of all denominations that help people in need.  Love, Inc. provides rides to doctor’s appointments and errands in the individual’s local community.

POSSO Escort Program
(408) 293-0877
Service Area: San Jose
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Monday-Thursday
Fare: FREE; Donations welcomed
Eligibility: 65+ years old
For more information: (408) 293-0877 or visit

The Portuguese Organization for Social Services and Opportunities (POSSO) Escort Program provides scheduling, transportation, translation, and interpretation by trained professionals and volunteers. Trips can help assist seniors to utilize services of health professionals and agencies they otherwise would not be able to access.

(408) 463-2865, Extension 275
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Eligibility: Call for requirements
For more information: (408) 436-2865, Ext. 275 or visit

OUTREACH Senior Transportation offers Santa Clara County residents 65 years and older transportation services. Services include subsidized monthly public transit passes, individualized transportation plans, ADA Paratransit Service Rider’s Fares, and door-to-door transportation. For eligibility requirements and enrollment forms please contact OUTREACH.

Road Runners
(650) 940-7016
Service Area: Ten-mile radius of Middlefield Road and Oregon Expressway
Fare: $5.50 to $19.00 depending on distance traveled
Eligibility: Call for requirements
For more information: (650) 940-7016 or visit

Road Runners is a transportation service provided by El Camino Hospital Auxiliary volunteers. Transport is provided for medical, dental or any health related appointments. In addition, Road Runners will provide door-to-door transportation.

Private Transportation

The services in this section are provided by private, for profit companies. VTA does not endorse these services nor has verified the information provided by the companies.

Boundless Care, Inc.
(408) 363-8900
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Fare: Cost varies. Call for more information
Eligibility: Open
For more information: (408) 363-8900 or visit

Boundless Care, Inc. provides non-emergency transportation and escort services in the South Bay. Transportation provided for doctors appointments, dialysis, chemotherapy sessions, and recreational activities.

Family Tree Medical Transport, LLC
(408) 694-3550
Service Area: Northern Santa Clara County as far south as San Jose
Fare: Cost varies. Call for more information
Eligibility: Open
For more information: (408) 694-3350 or visit

Family Tree Medical provides non-emergency medical transportation within the entire San Francisco Bay area.  Costs are a flat fee with no mileage rate, and will be given when the trip is scheduled. Same day service is available.

One-Stop MedEx
(408) 907-5629
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Fare: Cost varies. Call for more information
Eligibility: Open
For more information: (408) 907-5629 or visit

One-Stop MedEx provides non-emergency ambulatory, wheelchair and stretcher transportation within Santa Clara County and throughout Northern California. One-Stop MedEx provides transportation for doctor’s appointments, medical trips, outpatient surgery, community service centers, rehabilitation facilities, physical therapy, and long distance trips.

(877) 874-3310
Service Area: Throughout the Bay Area
Fare: $85 per hour
Eligibility: Clients must be able to walk a minimum of 20 feet with a walking aid.
For more information: (877) 874-3310 or visit

SilverRide provides assisted transportation, companions, personalized activities and group events for older adults who want to get things done, socialize and have enriching life experiences.  As part of its service, SilverRide coordinates and refers a network of complementary products and services that together provide a comprehensive lifestyle solution for older adults.

S & P Medical Transportation
(408) 829-8648
Service Area: Santa Clara County
Fare: Cost varies. Call for more information
Eligibility: Open
For more information: Call (408) 829-8648 or (408) 264-6411

S&P Medical Transportation provides non-emergency wheelchair and ambulatory services. This service is geared towards the physically challenged, as well as those in need of a comfortable ride to medical appointments.

Local Driver’s Safety

AARP Driver Safety Program
The AARP Driver Safety Program offers local classes for drivers aged 50 and above. The course covers many topics related to being an older driver such as traffic rules, staying flexible, medication, etc. The course is designed to help you remain a safe driver. It covers normal age-related physical changes, and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes.
For information on AARP Driver Safety courses in your area and for other helpful information, go to

Age Well Drive Smart – California Highway Patrol
Age Well Drive Smart, is a California Highway Patrol Program for seniors ages 55 and older. Those who complete this course will receive a certificate that may entitle them to a premium discount on their automobile insurance. This program has been approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Highway Patrol, the Office of Transportation Safety, and the Santa Clara County Traffic Safety Community Network (TSCN).
To find a workshop near you contact your local community center.

Driver Safety Resources

Self Assessment
If you are becoming concerned about your ability to drive a vehicle, information developed by various aging and traffic safety groups may help you determine whether you need to have a more formal evaluation of your driving abilities.

Roadwise Review – AAA (Online Tool)
The AAA Roadwise Review is an interactive online tool to help you identify potential aging-related driving issues, steps to reduce risk, and monitor your driving health in private.
Go to for this and other helpful online resources, including an online older driver safety course.
Driving Decisions Workbook
The University of Michigan developed a 47-page workbook to help older drivers evaluate their ability to drive safely. The workbook is available online at

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Brochures
The NHTSA has developed a series of pamphlets that address older adults’ ability to drive safely. These include “Safe Driving for Older Adults” and pamphlets dealing specifically with driving when you have had a stroke or have various conditions, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, diabetes or seizures.
Brochures can be ordered by calling the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236 or can be viewed online at (click on “Older Driver & Pedestrian Safety”).
Adjusting Your Vehicle
Proper adjustment of seats, mirrors, headrests and the steering wheel can help keep you driving safely. A variety of simple devices can be added to help compensate for physical changes or simply to make the vehicle fit you more comfortably and safely. The American Society on Aging, the American Automobile Association and AARP has developed a program called CarFit, Helping Mature Drivers Find Their Perfect Fit. For more information, go to or to and search for “driver safety.”

Talking to Family and Friends
The Hartford insurance company and the MIT AgeLab have developed a guide to help families initiate productive and caring conversations with older adults about driving safely.  A free 24-page brochure called “We Need to Talk…Family Conversations with Older Drivers” and several other older driver safety resources are available at

DMV Licensing
The Department of Motor Vehicles does not take away your driver’s license when you reach a certain age. Your mental and/or physical condition and your ability to follow traffic laws and rules regardless of age determine whether your license is renewed, restricted, suspended or revoked. All customers age 70 or older must renew their driver’s license in person at the DMV office. Restrictions may be imposed relating to declining physical condition.
The number one restriction for senior drivers is vision-related and usually requires the driver wear glasses or corrective contact lenses. Some other common restrictions are no freeway driving, no nighttime driving, no rush hour driving and driving only with proper support to ensure a proper driving position.
For more information: (800) 777-0133 TTY (800) 368-4327 or visit

Disabled Parking Placards
You can get a Disabled Person (DP) placard or license plates if you have impaired mobility and a licensed physician, surgeon, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or certified nursemidwife certifies your condition.  The DP placard and plates entitle you to park your vehicle in handicap parking spaces, at a blue or green curb, at metered on-street parking spaces at no charge, and in areas that require residential or merchant permits. You do not have to own or drive the vehicle to use the DP placard.
For more information: (800) 777-0133 TTY (800) 368-4327 or visit (click on “Disabled Person Placard or Plates”)

Walking and Fitness
Fitness and exercise are key components of your mobility.  Not only does regular exercise make it easier for you to walk to your destinations and travel on transit, it also helps you maintain your body’s strength, flexibility, reflexes and coordination, which lengthen the amount of time you are able to drive safely.

City Parks and Recreation Departments
Most cities in Santa Clara County offer health and exercise classes through their Parks and Recreation departments. Some cities even have programs targeted specifically at older adults.  For more information, contact your city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Information Resources

Sourcewise – Community Resource Solutions
Sourcewise, previously Council on Aging Silicon Valley, is an independent non-profit organization serving Santa Clara County. Their mission is to provide adults and their caregivers the tools and services to effectively navigate their health and life options. Community Resource Specialists at Sourcewise connect individuals with experts in the areas of health insurance counseling, Meals on Wheels, senior employment, care management, and other services available throughout Santa Clara County.
For more information: (408) 350-3200 or visit

511 is a one-stop resource for Bay Area transportation information, including real-time traffic conditions, public transportation routes and schedules, bicycling information and much more. 511 information is available on the phone by dialing 511 or on the web at To use the phone service, speak your choices or press zero to use touch-tone menus. It is a free service and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The website includes an interactive trip planner. Phone users who are hearing impaired can use 511 by calling 711.

2-1-1 Santa Clara County
2-1-1 provides free, non-emergency community health and disaster information in Santa Clara County. Like 9-1-1 for emergency services, 2-1-1 is a public access number for community information. Callers receive information from a live phone specialist who can answer questions about a variety of non-profit services and agencies. Phone specialists can also help callers find out where togo to volunteer and donate to their favorite cause.

Network of Care
Network of Care is an online resource for older adults, persons with disabilities, family members, friends, caregivers and service providers. The online resource provides information about health care, information and assistance, in-home services, legal services, and transportation. The Network of Care is offered as part of Santa Clara County’s ongoing commitment to provide care supports and services that promote a healthy, safe, and prosperous community. Call (408) 792-5040 or visit

Santa Clara County Senior Nutrition Program
 The Senior Nutrition Program provides high quality, nutritious meals to seniors. Nutrition education is provided to seniors participating in the Senior Nutrition Program to support this promotional effort. All meals are planned to meet one-third of the daily recommended dietary allowances for adults. The meal plans are approved and monitored by a staff of Registered Dietitians. For more information contact your local senior center.
Senior Mobility Guide Online
An online version of the Senior Mobility Guide is available online at

Quick Phone List
Public Transit
AC Transit.......................................... (510) 891-4777
BART................................................. (650) 992-2278
Bay Area Transportation...................................... 511
Caltrain.............................................. (800) 660-4287
Highway 17 Express.......................... (831) 425-8600
Monterey-Salinas Transit................... (888) 678-2871
OUTREACH, Inc. .............................. (408) 436-2865
San Benito Express........................... (831) 636-4161
SamTrans........................................... (800) 660-4287
VTA.................................................... (408) 321-2300
Community Transit Services
American Cancer Society – Road to Recovery....................... (800) 227-2345
Heart of the Valley............................. (408) 241-1571
Hospice of the Valley......................... (408) 559-5600
LOVE INC.......................................... (408) 723-9223
OUTREACH, Inc................................ (408) 436-2865 Ext. 275
POSSO Escort Program.................... (408) 293-0877
Road Runners.................................... (650) 940-7016
Santa Clara County Senior Centers
Alma Senior Center........................... (408) 288-8758
Avenidas............................................ (650) 289-5400
Barbara Lee Senior Center................ (408) 586-3400
Campbell Adult Center ..................... (408) 866-2146
Cupertino Senior Center.................... (408) 777-3150
Cypress Senior Center...................... (408) 244-1353
Gilroy Senior Center.......................... (408) 846-0414
John XXIII.......................................... (408) 282-8607
Live Oak Adult Day Services............. (408) 354-4782
Los Altos Senior Center.................... (650) 947-2797
Los Gatos Senior Center................... (408) 354-1514
Morgan Hill Senior Center................. (408) 782-1284
Mountain View Senior Center............ (650) 964-6586
Santa Clara Senior Center................. (408) 615-3174
Saratoga Senior Center..................... (408) 868-1257
Self-Help for the Elderly.................... (408) 873-1183
Self-Help for the Elderly
(M.T. Laing Center)...................... (408) 961-7080
Senior New Ways.............................. (650) 209-1119
Seven Trees Community Center........ (408) 794-1690
Southside Senior Center................... (408) 629-3435
Stevenson House.............................. (650) 494-1744
Sunnyvale Senior Center................... (408) 730-7360
Yu-Ai Kai Senior Center..................... (408) 297-4979

To have your organization listed, or notify VTA of changes in the listed services please contact (408) 321-2300.

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