6 Affordable Senior Transportation Options
This blog was originally published on Daily Caring.
Affordable transportation for older people is essential for maintaining independence and health. Without a reliable way to get to doctor’s appointments or buy food and household supplies, they can’t realistically remain in their homes as they age.
Social isolation is another big problem for those who don’t drive. It causes poorer quality of life and contributes to earlier death. Having access to affordable transportation keeps older adults connected with family, friends, and their community.
To keep older individuals healthy and active, we’ve rounded up 6 local transportation options that help them get around.
6 affordable transportation options for older people
1. County public transportation services for older people
Most counties across the U.S. offer free or low-cost public transportation services designed for seniors who need door-to-door rides.
The best way to find these programs is to call your county’s Area Agency on Aging. They’ll connect you with available local programs.
The ElderCareLocator is another way to find local government transportation programs – enter zip code in the search box at the bottom of the page.
GoGoGrandparent is a concierge service that connects older individuals with on-demand ride services like Lyft and Uber. These services can have a car at your location in minutes.
Best for: Older people who are able to get in and out of a car without assistance
Price: Riders pay the regular price for the on-demand ride plus an additional 19 cents/mile for the concierge service. On-demand ride fares vary, but are generally lower than taxi rates.
How it works: Use any touch-tone phone to call the toll-free number and arrange a ride. Live operators are available 24/7.
For safety, rides are monitored and drivers are screened. Notifications about the ride are available for family members via text message Walkers and foldable wheelchairs are no problem.
Lyft is a popular on-demand ride service that can have a car at your location within minutes.
Best for: Independent people who are comfortable using smartphone apps and can get in and out of a car without assistance
Price: Varies, but is generally lower than taxi rates.
How it works: Download and set up the Lyft app on your older adult’s smartphone. Use the app to book a ride and pay automatically by credit card when the ride is finished
Special service for older citizens: Concierge service (no smartphone required) is available through Lyft partners like assisted living communities, health organizations, etc. Ask local organizations if they partner with Lyft.
Veyo is a company that partners with insurance companies and health facilities to provide non-emergency medical transportation that’s covered as an insurance benefit.
Best for: Older individuals who need transportation to medical appointments and those who need a special vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair or stretcher
Price: Free, if the insurance company offers Veyo as a transportation benefit
How it works: Ask your older adult’s insurance company if Veyo is one of their transportation benefits – if yes, they’ll help you schedule rides Seniors and caregivers can’t sign up for the service or arrange rides – only a health organization partner can arrange rides
iTNAmerica is a national network of senior ride companies that offer door-through-door transportation. The number of locations is limited, but it’s a great option if it’s available in their area.
Best for: Older people who need assistance in and out of the car and through the door to their destination
Price: Rates are affordable, but pricing varies depending on the local affiliate
How it works: Contact local offices for more information and to schedule rides.
6. Additional resources
Call local senior centers to see if they offer transportation services.