Safeway Stores Inc. and Kaempfer Co. developers began providing free shuttle service last week between Rosslyn and Safeway's Cherrydale store.

The service, which is being coordinated by Arlington's Economic Development Division, is primarily for the elderly who formerly shopped at Safeway's Rosslyn store, according to Tom Parker, the division's chief.

Parker said the shuttle will help Rosslyn's elderly residents, many of whom do not have cars and would otherwise need to take cabs and buses to buy food.

Parker said the service will operate about every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday between the Wilson Center at 1601 Wilson Blvd. and the Cherrydale grocery store. It will operate for about 18 months until Safeway returns to Rosslyn, he said.

To make the trip, Safeway and Kaempfer Co. have bought a new $15,000 silver Chrysler Plymouth van.

In November, Safeway closed its 24-year-old store at 1525 Wilson Blvd. During the next month, Kaempfer Co. began construction of a $42million, 12-story office building at that site.

Ernest Moore, public affairs manager for Safeway, said the new store will be about 31,000 square feet, about twice the size of the old one, and will include underground parking. Located one story below ground, the store will offer new features including fresh seafood, a bakery, a deli-cheese shop, a pharmacy and a plant and flower store.