RIDESHARING FOR SENIORS
Oct. 25, 2017
Many elderly people have a difficult time finding reliable transportation. Ridesharing companies hope to be able to accommodate them.
Transportation for seniors has always proven to be a difficult problem. Once elderly people are no longer able to drive for themselves, they have to rely on alternatives. If they are lucky, a nearby relative or friend will be regularly available. Not all seniors are that lucky.
Some cities, government agencies and charities have attempted to address the problem by offering dedicated buses or vans that can transport the elderly. These programs are expensive to maintain, however, and not always available when an elderly person needs to get to an appointment.
This has left many people isolated, with little choice but to call a taxi. Unfortunately, taxis are not available everywhere and they are expensive.
New companies now hope to provide solutions, as Politico reported in "Uber, but for Grandma."
The ridesharing services Uber and Lyft are both looking for ways that they can step in to meet seniors' transportation needs. While similar to taxis, these services are usually less expensive and are more readily available.
The companies will need to overcome several obstacles to be a reliable solution to the problem. There is currently a lack of vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs. Many elderly people also do not have the smartphones needed to use the services or they are not comfortable hailing a ride using an app.
Getting seniors the transportation they need is an important health and financial issue for the elderly.
Reference: Politico (Sep. 27, 2017) "Uber, but for Grandma."