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Did you know there are rideshare services made specifically for senior citizens? These services cater to riders who either don’t have a smartphone or aren’t comfortable using one, need cars with handicap accessibility, require help getting to and from the door, or simply are looking for a service that provides additional safety features.
Luckily, a variety of services have been introduced to help seniors, and their caregivers, address some of these challenges.
Here is a list of those companies that accommodate the senior community! Some are standalone rideshare services, others are just free services, and some help you book your ride by connecting to the popular rideshares you know and love. Take a look and see which service might be right for you or your loved one.
Available: Worldwide (anywhere Uber and Lyft operates)
*UPDATE* Arrive has been acquired by GoGoParent (see below).
Arrive is a members-only service that dispatches Lyft and Uber rides to customers, many of whom do not have smartphones. Live operators provide an even higher level of service, giving drivers detailed descriptions of the riders before pickup.
Hours of operation are limited to between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific time, so most of the company’s customers are still on the West Coast. But some East Coasters have been taking advantage of the service for evening activities like going to dinner.
Available: Metro Atlanta
Care Ride provides transportation solutions for seniors, special needs passengers and patients needing non-emergency medical transportation. Care Ride's concierge platform utilizes Lyft for on-demand booking and includes real-time tracking. Care Ride also partners with reputable local NEMT companies to fulfill trips for passengers with special mobility requirements.
For passengers who need no special assistance, Care Ride charges a concierge fee of 0.23 per mile plus Lyft's charge . Wheelchair accessible vehicle rates are based on vendors contracted rates plus Care Ride's per mileage 0.23 concierge fee. Our contracted vendor's have different rates based on their geographical area, so Care Ride advises customers who require wheelchair accessible vehicle to call for quotes.
Available: Austin, TX
Drive a Senior is a free service provided to seniors who sign up and schedule rides ahead of time to get to medical and health-related appointments. Eligible passengers must meet a list of criteria, including age over 60, limited driving, able to walk on their own (or with a walker/cane), and residing in the company’s area of service. To find out more and enroll in the free program, click here.
Available: Various US Cities
Envoy America provides senior transportation services plus assistance and companionship, giving a peace of mind to those who are caring for family members and loved ones. Envoy adheres to a strict screening process to find the right Driver Companions for seniors, families, senior living communities, health care organizations, and religious institutions. In addition, Envoy America allows reservations to be made a day (or several months) in advance, guaranteeing stress-free, punctual transportation.
Available: Throughout the US and Canada
Go Go Grandparent is a call-in service that helps people who aren’t comfortable with smartphones arrange rides. The service offers an extra measure of assurance by employing “professional grandchildren” to make sure the ride goes smoothly and features an option to alert the rider’s caregiver where their older loved one is going and who their driver is. The service is largely automated but operators are available if necessary.
The company was founded in Los Angeles by Justin Boogaard and David Lung. Boogaard says he started the service just to help his own grandmother and took all calls himself. But his grandmother had an active social life, and before long he was taking calls for about 100 of her friends. It was affecting his sleep, and he realized he had to hire a staff.
Go Go Grandparent began charging for the service (19 cents per minute in addition to the standard Uber or Lyft fee), and now have accumulated tens of thousands of customers.
Available: Throughout California, Florida, Arizona and in Chicago and Dallas/Fort Worth areas
Great Call is a cellphone provider that sells you an easy-to-use phone with the ability to press one button and be directed to an operator that will order your Lyft for you. The bill is connected to your Great Call account, and there is minimal work necessary on your end. Not only do these phones come with the ability to order a Lyft, they also have medical and safety benefits!
Available: Ohio, South Dakota, Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, and Nebraska
In some of the country’s more rural areas, Liberty Mobility Now has emerged as a solution for basic transportation needs and a first- and last-mile solution for often spotty public transportation access. Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Liberty Mobility Now operates in seven states, employing its own fleet of drivers as well as partnering with whatever other transportation options are available to get people rides. The company’s goal isn’t to compete with Uber or Lyft but to fill in gaps where popular rideshares don’t operate.
Liberty Mobility Now covers areas of Ohio, South Dakota, Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, is working on operating statewide in Nebraska and is about to launch in Corpus Christi, Texas. While they provide rides for anyone, well over half of their clientele is seniors.
Available: United States
Volunteer Transportation Center is another organization helping to fill the gaps left by Uber and Lyft. The center is not a transportation provider itself, rather, it provides resources to roughly 800 volunteer driver programs nationwide. Volunteer drivers take passengers to multiple destinations and often stay with them at the destinations. The main purpose of the center is to help support companies like the ones mentioned in this article, whose mission is to provide service to the elderly or less tech-savvy customers out there who still need to get where they need to go.
Available: San Francisco Bay Area
Onward provides door-to-door and assisted rides for seniors or those who need extra assistance. The drives can be one-way or roundtrip. A Roundtrip ride will have a driver come to the door of a rider, help them to the car, take them to their appointment, wait for them in the waiting room or office and then bringing them home. All rides are $35 an hour which allow the drivers to ensure the rider is safe and not rushed. All drivers are thoroughly vetted and all hold CPR licenses.
Available: California, Arizona, and Texas
RideWith24 partners with Uber to provide easy access to booking rideshares by simply calling a toll-free number. The service is currently operating in California, Arizona, and Texas, and offers to-and-from transportation and thru-the-door service. This service is easy to use, and it says the ride will arrive within 15 minutes of calling the number.
Available in San Francisco
SilverRide is not free, but it is a service dedicated to providing rides for elderly, for any reason. You don’t have to have a medical reason to book a ride, and you don’t need a smart phone either! You can simply book a ride through the concierge service at least 24 hours in advance, and the ride is guaranteed! If you need it, the company will also provide accompaniment after you get out of the vehicle.
Available: New York, Chicago, Washington D.C.
Via -- a carpooling service operating in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. -- has been very popular with seniors in New York City. Seniors accounted for 27 percent of their riders late in 2015, according to an article in New York Magazine.
The service is simple: after booking a ride, a shared car picks up passengers at nearby street corners and they ride together. Uber and Lyft offer similar services that have received mixed reviews, but seniors in New York have raved about Via’s cheap prices and sense of community.
Available: Austin, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Loa Angeles, Miami, Newark, NYC, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa
Wingz is a rideshare service based in San Francisco that is dedicated to accommodating senior citizens. To book a trip with Wingz, you must schedule your ride in advance. The company is partnered with care facilities to help accommodate needs related to medical services (but you can use the service for anything!). You can also favorite a driver on Wingz so you know who you will be driving with.
Available in Boston
Zemcar is both an on-demand and scheduled rideshare service that specializes in giving rides to children and senior citizens. All drivers are taken through intense security and background checks and must meet for an in person interview and provide multiple references. The minimum fare for a Zemcar ride is $15