E’ville Seniors: Commission on Aging Chair Joyce Jacobson on the need for additional bus stop benches

Published On January 27, 2015 | By Guest Contributor | Community Voices, News & Commentary

In our attempt to cover as much of Emeryville as possible, we’ve cast a net over our entire city. One important perspective that’s been elusive to our audience thus far is that of Emeryville’s senior population. We finally found one of these voices in Emeryville’s Commission on Aging Chair Joyce Jacobson whom we connected with during the last election. Joyce has helped initiate this needed dialogue with her piece on Emeryville’s need for additional bus stop benches. We’re hopeful she’s helped pave the way for other welcome contributions from Emeryville Seniors.

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Joyce moved to the Watergate community in 1989 three months before the Loma Prieta earthquake and “was relieved to find that the peninsula and our development did not turn to mud during the shaking!”  She’s served on the Emeryville Commission on Aging since 1997 and is also the Emeryville representative to PAPCO (Paratransit Advisory and Planning Committee) of the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Joyce has also served as chair of the Parcel Tax Oversight Committee (the proceeds of which support the Emeryville Unified School District). Joyce is the mother to five and has seven grandchildren, some of them living within the Bay area. Recreation for Joyce includes playing duplicate bridge and keeping track of the ducks and shorebirds in the Emeryville shoreline marsh.


Emeryville Commission On Aging lobbying for additional Bus Stop Benches

By Joyce Jacobson

The Commission on Aging is addressing the need for benches at several Emery Go-Round bus stops. Seniors use bus and BART for some or all of their trips away from home. Benches at bus stops are important to older people traveling by public transportation. They often have difficulty standing for more than a few minutes and need a place to sit while waiting for the bus.

The Commission is asking that benches be installed at four locations in our city. Benches are needed along the Hollis route at the IHOP (2) and 65th Street stops (10 & 13). Better benches are needed along the Powell/Shellmound route at the Black Diamond Cafe (12) and Trader Joe’s (18). Commission members have addressed the Transportation Committee and made a presentation to the Public Works Committee. The Public Works Director, Maurice Kaufman, has agreed to study our request and to forward his recommendation to the City Manager and the City Council. Money for this type of installation is allocated in the City budget.

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Benches are sorely missed at the McArthur BART station. The old wooden benches are gone. The renovated waiting area where Emery Go-Round boards is at least a block away from the station entrance. There are no benches or sitting places anywhere on that long walkway. Young people can be seen squatting on the sidewalk. Old people don’t have the flexibility to do that. The Commission On Aging is asking BART management to remedy this situation and install benches.

Emery Go-Round, which connects with BART and AC Transit, is a lifeline for those who don’t drive. A place to sit while waiting for a bus is a necessity, not an amenity, for many riders.

Please provide your support for this by contacting City Council →


The Emeryville Commission On Aging is appointed by the City Council with the mission of promoting a dignified, healthful quality of life for older adults. Their focus during 2014 has included affordable housing, equity in Senior Center membership and transportation. ECOA Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the Emeryville Senior Center from 10AM to 11:30 AM.
Visitors are welcome.

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The E'ville Eye Guest Contributor series invites Emeryville City Council members, businesses, residents & neighbors to share their opinions and voice about a broad range of subjects involving our city. Contact us if your interested in submitting an editorial or story.

One Response to E’ville Seniors: Commission on Aging Chair Joyce Jacobson on the need for additional bus stop benches

  1. Ken Bukowski says:

    The city could have bus shelters everywhere at no cost to the city, However, the Council decided not to allow advertisements, which are necessary to cover the costs of installation and maintenance. We should urge the Council to allow advertising, and avoid spending public money.

    The council decided to use public art money to pay for bus shelters. We have been waiting too long for that to happen.. That process involves selecting the art, along with the obligation of maintenance. However, What happens to the art in the event of vandelism.? Is it wise to put something of value in a public place which is prone to vandelism? We should simply follow the rest of the region and provide free bus shelters now…..

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