Senior Friendly Ride-Sharing Services
July 2, 2020
Ridesharing has been gaining popularity since 2009 when Uber launched their services into San Francisco. Since then, other competitors have entered the market. Many of them have been forgotten or even acquired. Lyft (founded in 2012) is a direct competitor to Uber and has similar app-based ride sharing services.
Uber and Lyft are often seen as “Millennial taxi services” and older adults (especially seniors) haven’t fully come around to the idea of using them. According to a research article written by the AARP, 94% of Americans age 50 and older have heard of ride sharing services, but only 28% have actually used them and 68% had not planned to use them within the next year. But as technology continues to move at a rapid pace, taxi services dwindling, and increasing commute times year after year, seniors may need to start using these services.
What can we do to help push them out of their comfort zone and into using ridesharing services?
No, the first step is not to download an app! Luckily, there are companies that have wonderful solutions for accessible, safe, and senior-friendly ride-sharing and many of them are ordered byway of a phone call.
Offered wherever Lyft operates
Great Call Rides is a service that provides any Jitterbug user a fast and efficient way to summon a ride via Lyft.
Instead of downloading the application and setting up an account, Great Call has added Lyft as a speed dial number to their jitterbug phones. Dial 0 and it will then direct you to a live operator.
First the user must tell them where they want to go, and the operator will quickly give the wait time and estimated cost for the ride. Lyft will pick the passenger up from anywhere. When it’s time to return home, just dial 0 again and start the process over.
This service charges directly to the phone bill, so a credit card does not need to be imputed into the jitterbug phone and cash doesn’t need to be on hand to pay for the service.
GoGo Grandparent is a service that has partnered with Uber and Lyft to create a ridesharing program specifically for older adults age 50+.
GoGo Grandparent will provide users with an (800) number to save in their contact list. This number allows them access to ride sharing capabilities without having to download an app.
After it’s saved to their phone, they can call and have 7 options to choose from.
- Immediate request of an Uber or Lyft
- Request an Uber or Lyft where you were dropped off last
- Request an Uber or Lyft to a custom pick up location
- Request ride sharing through an operator
- Request meals to be delivered
- Request groceries to be delivered
- Speak with an operator about medication management.
With all of these options, GoGo Grandparent allows their users to get most everything they need all from one number.
The service also includes “by-the-minute” updates to emergency contacts. Caregivers and loved one’s have the ability to stay informed by receiving text messages when a ride is being ordered, when their loved one is in the car, and they can receive the address of the new location.
GoGo memberships cost $9.99 a month and the concierge fee is $0.27 a minute. For non-members, the service costs $12 per ride.
Offered within the San Francisco Bay Area and Kansas City areas.
Silver Ride is a senior ride sharing service that offers help from pickup to drop off.
Silver Ride offers door-through-door assisted ride assistance. This means they will go into the pickup location and assist the passenger into the car. When they are at the dropoff location, the driver will assist them into the location. This helps reduce potential falls and always makes sure there is a helping hand.
According to their website, “The Company has a robust training program that educates drivers how to physically assist riders in and out of the vehicle, up and down stairs, how to provide assistance walking along uneven surfaces, how to help clients in and out of wheelchairs. Drivers are also trained in the myriad of conditions that exist, including tremors, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, vision issues, hearing issues, balance issues.”
Passengers can enjoy a free guest with all of their rides and Silver Ride even has excursion packages to bring them to different sites around their respective city.
The service is cashless, so there will need to be a credit card on file.
If Silver Ride is more than 15 minutes late, the ride is half-price. Ride requests must be submitted a day in advance and the prices are calculated on a per-trip basis.
During the unprecedented times of Covid-19, ridesharing services are taking precautions to make sure they are clean and safe. Rides with more than one group have been completely paused for all users, and there is a maximum number of riders that are allowed to be in the car at one time. Many ridesharing services are distributing cleaning supplies, like clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. Some even have complimentary masks if you forgot yours at home. The drivers are mandated to clean their cars more frequently and more thoroughly than ever before.
Ridesharing can be daunting for seniors, especially since they already know how to use taxis and relying on family members can tend to feel a bit better. But with new services popping up, now is the time to have a conversation with them about ridesharing and how simple the service can be. Though we only highlighted three, there are many other wonderful services across the globe for passengers of all abilities, and a quick google search will guide you to one that best fits your and your loved one’s needs.
“Walking man’s best medicine” — Hippocrates
By Nic Bordwell, Director of Marketing