Elderberry Express resumes operations

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Elderberry Express, a free ride service for Pittsford residents ages 65 and older, resumed transportation services for medical appointments and grocery store trips. 

All COVID-19 precautions will be followed. Drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask.

The organization recently welcomed two new coordinators: Suzanne Lee and Susan Smith. One of them will be in the office from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays-Fridays to help schedule rides. Call 585-248-6287 at least two days ahead of the appointment. Rides are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Elderberry Express is located in the Spiegel Community Center, 35 Lincoln Ave. A task force of seven churches and businesses started the program on Aug. 4, 1987, as transportation was the greatest need for seniors at that time. 

Monthly meetings were held to determine policies, solicit funds and recruit members who were willing to give their time and money to drive or answer the phone. A 12-passenger van was made available through R.J. Russell Associates, which paid for the lease for two years.

Usage was slow to build at first, but when transportation to Pittsford Seniors meetings on Tuesdays was offered, as well as shopping trips to Wegmans on Wednesdays, ridership increased dramatically.

Despite donations from the community, clients and churches were substantial, there were not enough funds to sustain the growing costs of insurance, gasoline and maintenance. Elderberry Express became a nonprofit organization in 1990 and received its first grant from the town of Pittsford. 

Elderberry Express still depends upon donations from riders, families and friends. The board of directors consists of members from the community, churches and other volunteers. Visit townofpittsford.org/home-seniors for volunteer information.

Pittsford residents ages 65 and older are welcome to use Elderberry Express for their medical appointments and grocery store trips.