Human shuttle to the rescue of Riverdale's 'Golden Girls'


For “The Golden Girls” of Riverdale, May 16 started out like any of their bimonthly day trips complete with entertainment and a meal. By the time the 37 women aboard the charter bus reached their homes that night, they had a hell of a story to tell.

Barbara Allison, a Bailey Avenue resident, and the rest of the group took a trip to Hunterdon Hills Playhouse in New Jersey through a program with St. Margaret of Cortona Church and St. Barnabas Church. They enjoyed “Million Dollar Quartet,” a Broadway musical based on the music of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash.

Around 5:30 p.m. their bus came to an abrupt stop atop the hill on the corner of Caryl Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park Avenue in Yonkers just over the Riverdale line.

“The bus driver couldn’t make the left turn onto Van Cortlandt Park Avenue,” Allison said. “As he attempted to make the turn, the bus got stuck. Along came a tow truck, and he said the bus was most definitely stuck.”

Some of the women in the bus were starting to question the driver’s choice to skip Broadway and take the side streets. “He told us he was just following the navigation system, which he used as a shortcut,” Allison said.

“Then we saw a ‘No buses, No trucks’ sign. We told him to take Broadway. ”

The group of senior citizens, some of which had wheelchairs and used canes, disembarked the bus and stood on the sidewalk as the tow truck operator and bus driver tried to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, the seniors wondered about how they would get home.

Along came a man named “Ray,” a neighbor who offered to drive the seniors to their destinations.

“He told us he had an SUV and that he would take them up Broadway into Riverdale,” Allison said. “He made seven trips. He was a human shuttle service.”

When asked if they could pay him for his good Samaritan gesture, he said, “No,” according to Allision. They never saw him again, although they still want to thank him properly.

According to Allison, the bus was stuck there for at least four hours. “Also, I was told it was the fourth time in a week that a bus was stuck at that intersection,” she said.

So much for GPS technology.

Barbara Allison, St. Margaret of Cortona Church, St. Barnabus Church, Van Cortlandt Park Avenue, Caryl Avenue, Hunterdon Hills Playhouse