Ride Sharing Services & Seniors

September 04, 2015

Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft now provide a simple solution for senior’s daily transportation. 

These ride-sharing services are an affordable car service at the touch of a button on your smart phone. 

Dian Kalijan, division director for Sonoma County Adult and Aging Services “Technology is going to make a difference. Isolation is such an issue for seniors and contributes to a lot of negative effects of aging. Being able to be mobile and having a place to go to get your hair done and go shopping, that’s what nourishes people as they live their lives”.

This seems an all around great solution for seniors but Liza Hoan at Nextavenue.org has compiled 4 issues that these services need to overcome before they can become a universal solution.

1. Availability

Ride sharing services are unfortunately only available in lager metropolitan cities. They both have limited reach in suburban areas and no rural areas. With Uber, Lyft, and many other service planning on future growth to serve these areas all we can do is wait.


2. Accessibility

Ride-sharing services are not designed to accommodate those who need help getting in and out of there car. In many instance the driver may not even be able to get out of the car at all. A current law suit will determine the future of ride sharing cars providing accommodations to disabled passengers. Although in some areas Lyft has a wheel-chair ready vehicle request options and Uber has introduced a special Uber Assist service in seven cities.



3. Technology

The Pew Research Center found that only 27 percent of American adults 65 and older own a smart phone. The applications to hail rides are often limited to mobile or online platforms. This can pose a challenge for many seniors.


4. Affordability 

Those on a fixed income can find that frequent trips will begin to add up. There are a number of companies starting programs that allow for carpool-type service that allow users to ride with other passengers heading in a similar direction for a reduced fare.


The future for Lyft, Uber, and many other applications looks bright.

But, for the time being they need to work on these 4 areas to provide a universal Senior transportation solution.

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