Senior Transportation Services
6 Options for Getting Out and About
When the days of driving are behind you or your senior loved one, it’s easy to feel isolated and stuck in your home. Luckily, it doesn’t need to be that way. Today, there are a variety of transportation options for seniors, whether you need to go get groceries or go out and see friends.
Here are some of your choices for senior transportation services. While not all of these may be available in your location, almost all cities provide some options for helping their older members continue to be mobile.
1. Public transportation
Also known as mass transit, local or government-run buses and trains almost always offer reduced rates for seniors. Advantages to public transit include low, fixed fares, standard schedules and routes, and no need to plan ahead or make reservations.
2. Paratransit services
Paratransit operations, which may include senior organizations and both public and private agencies, provide door-to-door or curb-to-curb transportation using minibuses or vans. A cross between public transit and one-on-one programs, paratransit does require advanced reservations but still offers flexibility and low fares.
3. Volunteer driver programs
Often run by faith-based or non-profit organizations, these programs are staffed by a network of volunteers who provide transport services to the elderly. Rides are typically free or donation-based, but do often require reservations a few days in advance. A great option for seniors who need or prefer more personal, one-on-one service.
4. Door-to-door driving services
Private agencies also offer one-on-one service, which may go beyond “door-to-door” to include helping passengers into their homes and/or vehicles, or with services beyond simply driving. A more expensive but comprehensive and personal option, private transportation services are usually used by people with more severe physical or mental challenges.
The tried-and-true taxi service is always an option for one-off or last minute trips. Seniors should be sure to ask the dispatcher about vehicles that are wheelchair accessible if necessary, as well as whether the taxi service accepts transportation vouchers, which can sometimes be purchased at a reduced rate from local senior organizations.
6. Ridesharing services
Companies like Uber and Lyft have recently begun offering a new type of transportation service called ridesharing. More technologically savvy seniors can use their smartphones to contact private drivers and essentially carpool to their destination.
To find out which senior transportation options are available in your area, visit the U.S. Administration on Aging’s website at www.eldercare.gov, or call them at 1-800-677-1116.
Visit SeniorAdvisor.com to find assisted living in San Diego or another city near you.