Senior Living Q & A

Q. I am no longer able to drive. What are my resources for transportation? I am able to walk without assistance but my friend in La Crescenta uses a wheelchair. Are there resources for her?

— Lila, La Cañada


Dear Lila,

The two major resources (in addition to taxis) are Dial-A-Ride and ACCESS Services. This week I will explain Dial-A-Ride.

Dial-A-Ride is a curb to curb transportation service made available by the city of Glendale to its residents as well as residents of La Cañada Flintridge who are 60 years of age or older. Disabled residents of any age are also served. Certification of disability from a doctor is required if resident is under 60 years of age.

Dial-A-Ride vehicles travel anywhere within the city and county areas of Montrose, La Crescenta, and within the cities of Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge. Registrants may book trips for both medical and nonmedical purposes. To assist shoppers, drivers will carry up to two standard-sized grocery bags or department store packages.

Note on the application if your pick-up location is on a 10% or more grade. City staff will schedule a field check prior to registration to determine the accessibility of Dial-A-Ride vehicles.

Dial-A-Ride is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Dial-A-Ride vans can accommodate multiple passengers and wheelchair patrons. These vehicles are identified by the Dial-A-Ride decals on the sides and rear of the vans.

The fee is $1 for each one-way trip for Glendale residents. The fees for La Cañada residents are paid for by the city of La Cañada. Attendants may board vehicles with Dial-A-Ride registrants at no charge. For those traveling to a city nutritional meal site, such as Sparr Heights, there is no fee. Drivers cannot make change or accept gratuities. Exact change is required upon boarding the vehicles.

You must be registered with Dial-A-Ride in order to use the service. If you are a resident of La Cañada call (818) 790-8880 to obtain a registration form. Glendale residents call (818) 548-3961.

You may schedule appointments up to two weeks in advance, but not less than 24 hours in advance. Keep in mind that Dial-A-Ride is often a shared ride so allow extra time for waiting. It is best to be flexible in your requests for rides.

If you have a regular appointment such as coming to the YMCA twice weekly for a 10 a.m. class, or going grocery shopping every Wednesday at 1 p.m. you can set that up as a recurring appointment and do not need to call for each one.

When you call to schedule an appointment indicate if you use a wheelchair, request door-to-door assistance, or if you are traveling with an escort. If you do not request door-to-door service, the driver will wait at the curb no more than three minutes after his arrival. Drivers are unable to enter apartment/condominium building complexes.

Provide the dispatcher with the address of your destination and the time and date you wish to travel. You must also make reservations for your return trip in advance. Let the dispatcher know what time you would like the vehicle to arrive for your return trip.

More on ACCESS Services next week.

NANCY TURNEY received a bachelor's degree in social work and a certificate in gerontology. If you have a specific question you would like answered in this column, e-mail it to or call Turney at the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, 790-0123, ext. 225. Only your first name and city of residence will be printed.

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