Transportation for seniors has always proven to be a difficult problem to solve. 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 of them 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. However, those programs are expensive to maintain 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, which are not available everywhere and can be 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. The availability of vehicles that can accommodate wheelchairs is currently lacking. Many elderly people also do not have the smartphones needed to use the services or are not comfortable hailing a ride using an app.
Getting seniors transportation is an important health and financial issue for the elderly.
Seniors need to be able to get to doctors’ appointments and they need to be able to go to the bank.
Reference: Politico (Sep. 27, 2017) “Uber, but for Grandma.”