Part of what makes Chicago such an interesting place to live in is its size. However, getting around the Windy City can be difficult if you do not have a vehicle or other way to drive safely. Fortunately, there are other alternatives, if you or those close to you do not drive. There are plenty of ways for you to get from one location to the next thanks to Chicago’s service organizations, public transportation, taxi fleets, and senior care providers.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is the oversight and financial body for the three transit agencies in northeastern Illinois: Metra, Pace, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). RTA serves all of Chicago as well as McHenry, Kane, Cook, Will, Lake, and DuPage Counties. Low-income seniors who are enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access program are eligible for a Ride Free Permit. All other older adults aged 65 and older are eligible for the RTA’s Reduced Fare program. All RTA bus, train, and curbside services are ADA compliant.
Taxi services are one on-demand solution for going to and from the airport or other places around Chicago. Flash Cab, Chicago Carriage Cab Co., and other licensed taxi services in the Chicagoland area allow passengers to make advance reservations by phone or online. If you are interested in providing door-to-door service for a parent or other loved ones, some taxi companies will allow you to prepay for rides taken by another person.
Golden agers can get transportation to and from errands and appointments from many home health services. BrightStar Care, Homewatch CareGivers, and Journey Care are just a few of the organizations in Chicago that promote their senior transportation services. There are several advantages to using senior care services for rides, such as help and companionship while shopping, the option to have the driver use their vehicle or yours, the freedom to make as many stops as you need along the way, and knowing your driver if they are also your caregiver.
In Chicago, you can get rides from Lyft or Uber. This means that family members or tech-savvy older adults can get rides on demand, receive door-to-door services, and set-up rides in advance. It is imperative that you understand how the pricing works with these companies. For instance, surge pricing can kick-in and raise fares dramatically during rush hour and other peak demand times.
Through a cooperative effort with the CTA’s Taxi Access Program (TAP), the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services Transportation Program provides specialized transportation for eligible seniors. Seniors who meet the specific requirements under the RTA’s Americans with Disabilities Act program can get specialized door-to-door rides at reduced rates.
Pace’s Call-n-Ride program is also affordable and easy to use. For a small fare, you can get door-to-door service anywhere in the metro Chicago area. You can learn more about this service by calling 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368).
Find assisted living in Chicago near you.