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AARP AARP States Washington DC Health & Wellbeing

Expanding Transportation Access for Residents 50-plus


Local advocates, backed by an AARP grant, are making a push to help the city’s older residents sign up for and use a program that could cut their transportation costs and expand their access to basic services.

The city’s income-based ConnectorCard program is designed to meet the needs of the city’s older population. It provides qualifying low-income residents age 60-plus with a debit card that has up to $100 a month for Uber, Lyft, trains, buses and cabs.

But many find the array of options confusing, and managing the benefit—which is generally done online or via a smartphone app—can seem daunting.

“We have found that many older adults do not feel confident enough to use ride-sharing services” because they’re unfamiliar with the technology, Shaylynnkinne Ivory, senior director of senior services at the D.C. nonprofit SOME (So Others Might Eat), said in an email.

With the help of a $50,000 AARP Community Challenge grant, SOME is hoping to change that. Earlier this fall, SOME conducted workshops to help older, low-income adults learn how to apply for and use the ConnectorCard. The group also held practice trips with people to troubleshoot transportation challenges.

The AARP grant is one of two awarded to D.C. groups in 2023. The AARP grants fund quick-turnaround projects to improve community livability.

Affordable transportation options are critical for the health and well-being of all older D.C. residents, says Brittany Kitt, AARP District of Columbia’s associate state director. Without it, “they might remain isolated or be less likely to access health care,” she notes.

To learn more about the ConnectorCard program, visit For more about SOME, go to

—Mary Van Beusekom

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