Aurora looking to spend $80,000 to provide enhanced senior transportation

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AURORA | Aurora City Council may decide to tack on an extra $80,000 to the 2018 budget to meet transportation needs for the increasing number of seniors in the community.

Currently, the city – with a 2017 budget hovering around $317 million – doesn’t put any funds toward senior transportation needs.

Seniors’ Resource Center provides many of the free transportation services in Aurora. Those are mostly funded through federal grants secured by the Denver Regional Council of Government.

The city estimates it could provide around 2,000 more trips to senior citizens with the allocation. Each trip costs approximately $40.

Each month at least 20 seniors are denied a free ride because their transportation need doesn’t land at the top of the priority list, according to the city.

Of the 7,778 senior trips made in Aurora from July 2015 through June 2016, more than 4,000 were medical trips. 2,500 were to the Aurora Center for Active Adults for meals. Another 1,200 were grocery trips.

All together, those trips cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars. And as the senior population grows, so will the need for transportation funds. 15.1 percent of Aurora’s population is over 60 years old. By 2020, Arapahoe County estimates the senior population could reach 22 percent.

A draft city budget for 2018 is due Aug. 31.