Cities should lend aide

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Clastran shuttles provide an invaluable service to the elderly and disabled and should be supported in the cities they serve.

The United Way sponsored shuttle service is currently seeking financial help from local communities to help keep its buses running. The service is provided for seniors ages 60 and older and the Americans with disabilities population in Jefferson, Shelby, Walker and St. Clair counties, including 12 cities in Shelby County alone.

Clastran buses transport the elderly and disabled to the doctor, the grocery store and, in some cases, to work. For some it is the only means of transportation.

With age comes slower reaction times and medical conditions that cause many senior citizens to give up their freedom of the road. And there is the financial consideration where people on fixed income may no longer be able to afford the upkeep and gas for an automobile. Unless a relative or neighbor is ready and present to take a senior or disabled person shopping or to frequent doctor visits, the result is that many become prisoners in their own homes. But with Clastran senior citizens and the disabled can continue living active lives with the service&8217;s small fee, $8 for a round trip.

In order to provide true service, Clastran has to keep its costs down, and that is whey they&8217;re seeking help.

Recently one Shelby County mayor said their city was unsure how Clastran would fit into its budget but it will examine how much the city can give. We believe that as a part of their support for senior citizen services, each city served by Clastran should do all it can to help keep these buses running.

As time moves on, all of us will eventually reach a point where assisted living and transportation type services will become more a necessity for ourselves or a family member.

Next time you need milk or medicine, picture yourself standing in your kitchen and unable to drive.

For many residents of Shelby County the answer is Clastran, just a phone call away.