Uber & Lyft for Seniors
Ride-sharing technology provided by companies like Uber and Lyft have the potential to lead to vast improvements in the lives of seniors with no means of transportation. However, ride-sharing to date has focused on the Millennial market, leaving seniors who don’t have access to smart phones, or who aren’t tech savvy out of the equation completely.
Only recently, as competition between Uber and Lyft has intensified, has the ride-sharing market shifted its attention to providing work-around options for seniors who don’t have smart phones or who can’t use apps.
Lyft and GreatCall
One of the solutions that both Uber and Lyft have adopted is to develop partnerships with third party companies who want to bring ride-sharing to their senior customers.
“As we looked at the challenges older consumers have with staying in their home longer, one of the main issues is transportation,” David Inns, chief executive of GreatCall told Tracey Lien of the Los Angeles Times. “With a lot of people in the seniors age group, they’re not at the stage where downloading an app and using it effectively is a great option.”
For GreatCall, the opportunity to partner with Lyft was the perfect way to to offer customers in select states the ability to access Lyft through their GreatCall Jitterbug phones.
How it works
Existing GreatCall customers use their Jitterbug phones to press zero and speak with an operator, who books the Lyft ride for them. “The operator has access to Lyft’s Concierge platform, which lets them contact the assigned driver to let them know they are picking up an elderly passenger who may require assistance. Billing for the ride then appears on their GreatCall statement,” Lien says.
Uber and RideWith24
Uber has recently partnered with 24Hr Home Care’s operator service RideWith24. Unlike the GreatCall-Lyft partnership, RideWith24 provides public access to Uber via a toll-free number (1-800-522-1516). The service which offers to-and-from transportation and thru-the-door service is currently available in California, Arizona and Texas.
How it works
To book an Uber ride simply call RideWith2‘s toll-free number 1-800-522-1516 to speak with an operator, who will take your credit card details and book an Uber ride for you.
UberCENTRAL and Revera
Revera Inc., which owns or operates more than 500 seniors’ apartments, as well as independent living, assisted living, memory care and long term care communities across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom has recently teamed with Uber to launch UberCENTRAL, a pilot program that allows seniors in Toronto greater access to transportation without relying on a smartphone or app.
How it works
“UberCENTRAL is a dashboard that enables any business—large or small—to request, manage, and pay for multiple Uber rides on behalf of their customers. UberCENTRAL is designed with all kinds of companies in mind—from seniors’ centres and retailers to car dealerships, hotels, and more,” Uber Newsroom announced in August.
So far, the pilot program with Revera shows promising results. “We’re pleased to hear from residents of The Annex retirement community in Toronto that UberCENTRAL has exceeded their expectations for safe and reliable transportation,” Trish Barbato, Revera’s senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships said in a recent press release.
Although these three examples or ride-sharing for seniors are not widespread, the hope is that Uber and Lyft will build on the success of these partnerships like these and continue to work to bring ride-sharing to seniors who need transportation but don’t have access to (or aren’t able to use) a smart phone or ride-sharing app.
Have you or a senior loved one used a local ride-sharing program? We’d love to hear about your thoughts and experiences.
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