Most people can remember the excitement felt when finally becoming the legal age to drive. Despite the rules enforced by parents, the freedom was priceless. While no longer driving to school dances or after school activities, senior citizens similarly appreciate this same level of independence. The ability to be mobile, provides older adults with an incredible sense of independence. However, often due to physical limitations, older adults can lose their ability to drive and with that goes their highly prized independence.
According to the National Household Travel Survey, more than 20% of adults over the age of 65 do not drive. That number is expected to increase when the 78 million adults born during the baby boom, will eventually surrender their car keys as well. Additionally, according to Transportation for America, an advocacy coalition for transportation services, 15.5 million Americans age 65 and older live in regions with little or no public transportation. Alternative transportation services is a growing need. However, this need has not fallen on deaf ears. New and alternative ways are being developed to help seniors maintain their mobility.
Government Moves Towards Alternative Modes of Transportation for Seniors
In December 2015, The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Easter Seals, created The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). This government funded organization is designed to assist seniors, caregivers, and people with disabilities with transportation services throughout their local communities. With funds for this program being sourced by The Federal Transit Administration, the NADTC connects transportation services with individuals who are unable to transport themselves to complete simple daily tasks. The NADTC strives to provide a higher quality of life for not only seniors, but for the disabled alike. Partnering with 623 local Area Agencies on Aging throughout the nation, the NADTC is a new viable option for seniors and the disabled seeking transportation options. In addition to the NADTC’s effort, many other companies are joining the campaign to keep seniors moving.
Familiar Names Offering New Ways to Get Seniors Where They Want to Go
Lyft, Uber’s competitor, has traditionally always been a smartphone based company giving its customers the ability to request door-to-door chauffeur service without the hefty price tag. Traditionally, this service was only available to those who owned a smartphone. In effort to accommodate the older population without smartphones, Lyft developed a web based system that only requires the name, phone number, address, and no use of a smartphone. Lyft furthered their efforts in New York City by partnering with the National Medtrans Network. The National Medtrans Network provides over 25,000 rides weekly to the disabled and seniors citizens of New York. The National Medtrans Network sources Lyft for the vast majority of their transportation services. Lyft and The National Medtrans Network aren’t the only companies striving to provide seniors with their independence.
AARP, long advocates of quality of life for seniors, has also jumped on the transportation bandwagon. AARP has compiled a list of creditable transportation services available to seniors throughout the nation. Some of these transportation services are free and are volunteer-based companies. For example, the Independent Transportation Network is a non-profit company started in Maine in 1995. This company, promoted by AARP, has provided more than half a million rides to its users for little to no cost. In addition to the Independent Transportation Network, AARP has numerous transportation services that they make available to their consumers. Follow this link to view some of AARP’s preferred transportation services. Similarly, Griswold Home Care has also answered the call for transportation options.