Last Updated: March 29, 2019
Ride-sharing technology provided by companies like Lyft and Uber have the potential to lead to vast improvements in the lives of older adults with no means of transportation. However, most ride-sharing services to date have left seniors who don’t have access to smartphones, or who aren’t tech savvy, out of the equation completely.
Read more about Lyft and Uber for seniors and the potential that ride-sharing services have to improve seniors’ lives.
Only recently has the ride-sharing market shifted its attention to providing workaround options for seniors in the form of:
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One of the solutions that both Lyft and Uber 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,” says David Inns, chief executive of GreatCall to the Los Angeles Times. “With a lot of people in the senior 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 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,” according to the LA Times report.
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).
How it works:
To book an Uber ride, simply call RideWith24‘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.
Revera Inc. owns or operates more than 500 assisted living, memory care and long-term care communities across North America and the United Kingdom.
They have recently teamed with Uber to launch UberCENTRAL, a pilot program that allows seniors in Toronto greater access to transportation without relying on an app or smartphone.
How it works:
“UberCENTRAL is a dashboard that enables any business… to 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 announced in a press release.
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 of ride-sharing for seniors are not widespread, the hope is that they will build on the success of these partnerships 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 smartphone or ride-sharing app.
Have you or a loved one used a ride-sharing program like Lyft or Uber for seniors? We’d like to hear more about your experiences in the comments below.