Getting to and from doctor’s appointments and geriatric care facilities has just been made easier for District senior citizens, who lack their own transportation. According to an announcement this week by Mayor Adrian Fenty and Clarence Brown, director for the Office on Aging, the city shelled out about $649,000 for 11 new wheelchair accessible vehicles for use in the Washington Elderly and Handicapped Transportation program. They will replace the much older, antiquated vehicles – each of which have accumulated more than 100,000 miles.

“The purchase of these vehicles greatly assists the District in its ability to transport our elderly clients to life saving appointments and senior services on a daily basis,” Fenty said in statement. “Our residents are living longer, more robust lives, and being able to provide transportation for them to medical and recreational activities ensures that they continue to lead full and healthy lives.”

Brown added that the vehicles are a testament to the mayor’s leadership as well as his “commitment to ensuring seniors in the District are able to remain independent and active.”

The vehicles will offer curb-side service transporting 12 to 16 passengers. They can also accommodate two wheel seat passengers. According to the mayor’s office, WEHTS averages 260 trips per day. In 2009, the program transported 101,211 seniors to various centers, meal sites and recreational activities.