A Guide to Rideshare for Seniors: Part 2
Ever need a ride to the grocery store or a doctor appointment but have trouble finding someone to get you where you need to go? This is a problem many seniors face, especially when they no longer feel comfortable behind the wheel.
In big cities, taking a cab or public transportation can be a good option. But depending on where you live, you may not have access to those resources. Fortunately, ridesharing is a way anyone can get to any place they want to go. There are many ridesharing platforms providing this service, but some are better for seniors than others. Here are four excellent ridesharing options for seniors.
Lyft is one of the nation’s most popular ridesharing services with more than 30 million users across the country. You can use Lyft in about 650 domestic cities so, unless you live in a very rural area, it’s probably available where you are.
You do have to book your ride using their smartphone app, which may be a challenge for some seniors. But you don’t have to book the ride yourself. A friend, family member or caregiver can book your ride for you.
But if you’re tech savvy and have a smartphone, using Lyft is easy. Simply download the app, then follow the prompts to create an account. When you do, you’ll give some basic information and payment information for the credit card you’d like them to charge when you take a ride.
Once you’re set up, you can open the app at any time and request a ride. Fares range depending on where you live and what type of vehicle you need, but prices are usually a little less than a taxi.
Lyft does offer assistance to those riders with physical disabilities. If you need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, go to your settings, and turn on “Access Mode.” This connects users with drivers who can accommodate wheelchairs.
Uber is the real giant of ridesharing. They have more than 100 million active users and provide an average of 17 million rides per day. Much like Lyft, Uber isn’t specifically geared to seniors. But unlike Lyft, Uber lets you (or a caregiver) book rides directly from their website.
Whether you’re on their website or app, using Uber is similar to Lyft. Follow the prompts to set up an account, and get riding! Fares can vary based on where you live, time of day and what type of vehicle you need but are usually lower than standard cab fare.
Uber has also an option, UberAssist, for riders who use a foldable walker, wheelchair or scooter. Choose this ride type, and the driver will help get this important equipment in and out of the car for you.
GoGoGrandparent is a unique ridesharing service, because they don’t actually give rides. Think of GoGoGrandparent as a booking service for Lyft and Uber except no smartphone is needed.
First-time users simply call GoGoGrandparent at 855-464-6872 from their landline or cell phone, and press option 2 to create their account. When you set up your account, you’ll add your home address, payment information, caregiver information and any other addresses where you may travel frequently.
Repeat customers can call the same number and follow the prompts to schedule a ride. GoGoGrandparent takes care of communicating with the driver, texting your caregiver about when and where you’re traveling and paying the driver.
GoGoGrandparent does charge a concierge fee of $0.27 per minute you’re on the phone with them. They charge the concierge fee and the driver fare in a single transaction with the payment method you added when you set up your account.
If you’re like most seniors, safety is a top concern. With GoGoGrandparent, you can select a caregiver who will receive a text when you’re picked up and dropped off from your ride so they know you’re safe. For more information about ridesharing safety, check out this article.
This service also allows users to bring a walker or folding wheelchair, if needed. Drivers can assist with those items, but most won’t be able to help you into the vehicle.
4. National Volunteer Transportation Center
Many seniors don’t even realize this organization exists, but the National Volunteer Transportation Center is a huge help to those who don’t live in areas where traditional ridesharing services are available.
Similar to GoGoGrandparent, the National Volunteer Transportation Center doesn’t provide rides, but they connect seniors and other users with people who do. They have a network of 800 providers across the country who are available to help seniors get where they want to go.
Just visit their website, and choose a provider near you. You’ll contact the provider directly to see if they can assist you. In many cases, rides are low- or no-cost.
Since the drivers are volunteers, they’re often more caring and compassionate than what you’ll receive from a paid service. They’re able to help you in and out of the car, and some can even wait for you while you’re at appointments.
Just because you don’t drive anymore doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get around when you need to. Use a rideshare service today to get out and about!
image credit: shutterstock/Rocketclips, Inc.