Transportation apps like Uber and Lyft can be an ideal fit for retirees. Young urbanites were the first to adopt ride-sharing services, but the people poised to benefit most from new transportation options are retirees. Older adults oft en reach a time when they need to start driving less and riding more, and the on-demand scheduling and transparent prices of ride-sharing services can be a good fit for those who can no longer drive. Here are some of the benefits of using Lyft and Uber for seniors.
RIDES WHEN YOU NEED THEM
One of the conveniences of using the Uber or Lyft app versus calling a taxi is that you can order transportation from your smartphone and pinpoint your pickup spot on a map. Th e app connects nearby drivers to your specific location. Th e first driver to claim the order becomes your ride. You immediately know the driver’s name, the type of car and the driver’s rating. Th en you get an estimated arrival time, and you can see the driver’s location on a real-time map. You can also schedule a ride in the future without placing a phone call.
TRANSPARENT PRICING AND EASY PAYMENTS
Before confirming a ride, the ride-sharing apps clearly state the price from your current location to the destination. Th e apps use distance and a real-time supply and demand pricing model to determine the cost of the ride. Unlike metered taxis, the price is finalized when you order the car, and it doesn’t increase if your route changes or you get stuck in traffic. Furthermore, there is no cash exchange when you use a ride-share service. Th e payment completes through a credit card transaction from within the smartphone app.
MOBILITY FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES
A disability, no matter how severe, can limit transportation options. Seniors with mobility problems oft en suffer from loneliness, depression and worsening physical health issues because they tend to stay at home due to their limitations. Diminished driving ability due to an injury, cognitive issue or long-term vision loss is another inconvenience common among older adults. However, ride-sharing apps can help you stay active in your community and get to where you want to go. Some ride-sharing services also partner with senior organizations to provide low-cost rides to specific groups of older customers. For example, Lyft recently became an enrolled Medicaid provider in Arizona that will provide covered transportation to and from medical appointments for eligible patients.
Driving skills can decline with age. For those who have trouble reading street signs or no longer feel comfortable behind the wheel, a ride-share provides a safer method of transportation. Th ere may be some concern about safety when entering the personal car of a stranger. But keep in mind, all ride-share drivers must meet minimum requirements and complete a criminal background check. A rider and driver rating system also ensures that unprofessional drivers are weeded out from the eligible driver pool. Follow common sense by only taking rides to familiar places and letting someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. You can always share a trip with a friend to feel more at ease.
MORE HOUSING OPTIONS
Not owning a car means you don’t have to worry about parking your vehicle. Downsizing your home becomes easier when you don’t need a garage or driveway. Th is can increase the number of affordable housing options available to you in your area. Car-free living could even mean moving to a downtown apartment, giving you more freedom to walk for most of your needs, while still having the option to use ride-sharing when you have further to travel. Traveling longer distances becomes more challenging with no car, so you’ll need to rely on public options like trains and airplanes for lengthy trips.