This article is 2 years old. It was published on September 30, 2021.
Today, the City of St. Louis announced the launch of the St. Louis Vehicle Electrification Rides for Seniors (SiLVERS) program, an electric vehicle (EV) shuttle service that will begin serving the public this week. SiLVERS provides electric vehicles to the Northside Youth and Senior Service Center (NYSSC) and City Seniors Inc. (CSI) to provide non-emergency rides to elders and distribute food to homebound seniors across St. Louis. This program represents St. Louis’ ongoing commitment to taking action on climate and vehicle emissions.
“Vehicle emissions are problematic for people’s health and also contribute to the problem of climate change, and the City has launched a robust suite of vehicle electrification projects,” said Catherine L. Werner, City Sustainability Director. “In addition to resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, electric vehicles emit fewer pollutants that contribute to poor air quality.”
This program, implemented by advocacy group Forth, serves historically underserved communities with cutting-edge technology to offset fossil fuel-powered trips, furthering the City’s sustainability goals. The project is brought together by the local community partners Northside Youth and Senior Service Center (NYSSC), City Seniors Inc. (CSI), North Newstead Association (NNA), and the St. Louis Agency on Aging (SLAAA).
“Programs like SiLVERS are critical to ensuring that the advancements of renewable energy and cleaner air are shared by everyone throughout the city regardless of where they live or what kind of car they can afford,” said Ald. Heather Navarro (28), who sponsored the City’s Electric Vehicle Charging Ordinances.
St. Louis is one of the 25 winning cities in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC), which is helping cities ramp up action in the two highest sources of carbon pollution: transportation and buildings. The Climate Challenge provided essential strategic and technical support for this project, further bolstering St. Louis' track record of climate leadership in the Midwest. Through the ACCC partnership, Forth was awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the SiLVERS program.
“The City of St. Louis is honored to be an instrumental partner on this innovative electric vehicle program focused on our seniors,” said City of St. Louis Climate Advisor Maurice K. Muia. “Not only does this program align with our climate action and adaptation plan, but it ensures that we improve the lives of the most vulnerable. This program puts the City on a path to lower emissions, a better mobility experience, and lower operating costs. That is a win-win for the City of St. Louis and it makes us proud to lead in the Midwest.”
Senior citizens (aged 60+) interested in receiving rides for medical appointments, shopping trips, social activities, or more can schedule appointments by calling NYSS for North City residents at (314) 652-9946 or City Seniors, Inc. for South City residents at (314) 352- 0141.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the soft launch of this program is scheduled for 3 P.M. on September 30, 2021 at Northside Youth and Senior Service Center located at 4120 Maffitt Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63113. Earlier this year, St. Louis City and County, alongside Metrolink and Bi-State Development, launched its first electric buses in the region.