Seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average of seven to 10 years, according to AAA.
Rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, should be an easy way for senior citizens to get around, but many don’t use them because of the tech hurdles.
“I tried to drive a little bit when I knew there wasn’t much traffic and I thought ‘this wasn’t safe for anybody,’” said Jean Probst, 95, of Kettering, who has deteriorating eyesight due to macular degeneration.
She said she struggled to get rides from family and friends and didn’t want to use a smartphone or rideshare apps.
“You lose all your independence when you can’t drive,” Probst said.
But now Probst and other senior citizens are using a ride-hailing service called GoGoGrandparent.
Instead of using a smartphone app, you call a number, follow voice prompts or talk to an operator and secure a ride from Uber or Lyft. The minimum fare is $7.85.
Like many senior citizen centers throughout the Miami Valley, the Beavercreek Senior Center offers transportation. It’s $2-4 a trip, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GoGoGrandparent is more expensive but provides services in off hours, said center supervisor Lee Duteil.
“To come up with something new that doesn’t use an app and provides transportation for seniors, I think is a very good thing,” said Duteil.
Another new option is Uber Health.
Doctor’s offices and medical facilities sign up to coordinate rides to and from appointments. Patients are notified via text or phone call of the ride details.
Probst said GoGoGrandparent has restored her independence.
“I really enjoy this. It is a great service,” Probst said.