Best Senior Transportation Services

Great Call is the best senior transportation service

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Driving is significant when it comes to maintaining independence and overall well-being as individuals get older. When you or a loved one can no longer drive, it can impact many areas of your life, including social relationships and sense of agency, as well as your ability to complete tasks of daily living, like shopping.

Luckily, there are alternatives available for older individuals to help them get where they need to go. These options not only help older adults maintain their independence, but also may help decrease caregiver burden, improving their overall health and quality of life as well.

Here are the best senior transportation services across the U.S. based on availability, cost, and accessibility.

Best Senior Transportation Services

Best Overall : Great Call + Lyft


Great Call + Lyft

Great Call + Lyft

Key Specs
  • Cost: Varies per ride
  • Availability: Anywhere Lyft operates
  • Eligibility: Must have a Great Call phone
Why We Chose It

Great Call and its partnership with Lyft is the easiest, most convenient way for older individuals to call themselves a ride, making it the best option overall. It is available anywhere Lyft operates to anyone with a Great Call phone.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Available anywhere Lyft operates

  • No app necessary

  • Can order rides on demand

  • Rides are billed directly to your phone bill

Cons
  • Only available to those with Great Call cell phones

  • Coverage may be sparse in rural areas

  • Drivers do not wait or walk you inside

Overview

Ride-sharing apps like Lyft have gained massive popularity, but it quickly became apparent that they are tailored towards tech-savvy young adults who always have a smartphone on hand. Many older individuals who can significantly benefit from using a ride-sharing service do not feel comfortable using an app or would rather speak to someone to make sure that they are going where they need to go. Great Call, a cell phone provider that carries cell phones specifically designed for older people, saw this need and partnered with Lyft to make the process as easy and trouble-free as possible. 

Great Call phones are easy to use, with features many older adults may need, such as increased volume, limited distractions, and large buttons. To call a ride, the user simply presses "0" and tells the operator where they need to go. The operator then lets them know what the fare will be and can book the ride for them through Lyft. When the user is ready to leave their location, they simply call back and request a ride home. 

Lyft determines the cost, and fares vary based on location, time of day, and how far the client is going. There is no additional cost for using this service, and Great Call makes it convenient and safe by adding the fare to your monthly cell phone bill, so there is no need to carry cash or worry about giving out credit card numbers. It is best for those with physical conditions or those recovering from surgery who are unable to drive. If you or your loved one has a Great Call phone and lives in an area where Lyft is available, then this service is one to check out.

Best Budget : iTNAmerica


iTNAmerica

iTNAmerica

Key Specs
  • Cost: Annual fee of about $50 to $80, plus cost per ride
  • Availability: Affiliates and partners all over the U.S.
  • Eligibility: Individuals age 60 or older or with vision impairment
Why We Chose It

We chose ITN America as the best for low-cost service because it's a non-profit business that provides cost-effective rides for older individuals. Rides can be used for any reason and are not limited to medical appointments.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Non-profit organization

  • Can be used for any type of ride

  • Half the cost of a taxi service

Cons
  • Not available in all areas

Overview

The Independent Transportation Network America (iTNAmerica/iTN) provides rides for individuals age 60 or older and those who are visually impaired. It is a non-profit organization and has affiliates across more than 10 states, including California, Delaware, and Tennessee.

It also has trusted transportation partners all over the country. Drivers are available around the clock with no limitations to the purpose of the ride. Drivers provide door-to-door service and can assist passengers with getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as carrying bags or groceries. 

iTN charges an annual membership fee of approximately $50 to $60 for a single rider or $60 to $80 for a family. Riders pay for each ride but do not have to worry about carrying cash, as rides are deducted from their account. The cost is approximately half of that of a taxi, and users can save money by booking in advance or by sharing rides. Unlike other services, you can use iTN for any kind of ride, as it is not limited to medical appointments. 

All iTN rides are in private vehicles, and drivers are trained to work with individuals with certain conditions. Drivers are either paid drivers or volunteers, and each client is matched with people in their area. Overall, if iTN is available in your area, it is an excellent choice for daily transportation when you can no longer drive yourself.

Best for Public Transport : Paratransit


Paratransit

Paratransit

Key Specs
  • Cost: Varies based on location
  • Availability: Across the U.S. in major cities
  • Eligibility: Individuals over the age of 65 or those with health conditions
Why We Chose It

Public transit is available in many forms across the country. Public transit agencies are required by law to offer paratransit services to accommodate riders with certain health conditions.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lower cost option, with potential government subsidies

  • Accommodates people with health conditions

  • Integrated into local communities

Cons
  • Requires at least a day’s notice to book rides, and 30-minute pick-up windows

  • Schedules not as flexible as private services

Overview

Each community offers its own public transportation and often has specialty services, called paratransit, for individuals over 65 or for those with certain health conditions. For more information about your community's services, contact your local Agency on Aging office. Paratransit services are required to meet ADA requirements and provide door-to-door transportation for adults with certain conditions at a low cost. There are often eligibility requirements, such as using a walker or wheelchair or presence of a mental or physical condition. 

The cost of paratransit varies for each community but is often less expensive than private transportation companies. The expense could potentially be covered by insurance depending on your Medicare part B coverage or if you are on Medicaid. Unlike most private transportation services, paratransit services often require riders to book their ride at least 24 hours in advance, which means these services are not suitable for last-minute or emergency appointments.

There is usually a 30-minute pick-up window, and users may have to wait after their appointment for a ride back home. Paratransit is an excellent option for those who don’t mind waiting and need a low-cost solution for transportation to doctors’ appointments or community outings.

Best for Private Transportation Services : GoGoGrandparent


GoGoGrandparent

GoGoGrandparent

Key Specs
  • Cost: Monthly fee of about $10 to $500, plus cost per ride
  • Availability: Across the U.S. and Canada
  • Eligibility: Older adults or those with certain conditions
Why We Chose It

GoGoGrandparent is a standout service for older individuals that makes ordering private rides easy.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Convenient and fast

  • Addresses mobility needs

  • Low technology requirements for those without smartphones

Cons
  • Expensive

  • All rides are operated by Uber and Lyft, not GoGoGrandparent

Overview

GoGoGrandparent is an easy way to get around without driving. GoGoGrandparent allows you to call and request a ride any time, with wait times for pick-up an average of 15 minutes or less. There is no need for a smartphone or app; you just call GoGoGrandparent directly, and it will take care of the rest.

Rides are provided by Uber and Lyft drivers, and GoGoGrandparent ensures the appropriate vehicle is ordered to accommodate each individual's mobility needs and medical equipment. Indiviudals are required to transfer themselves into the car, as cars are not wheelchair accessible. GoGoGrandparent keeps all your preferences on file, and drivers are pre-screened to ensure they are a good fit. 

The cost of GoGoGrandparent is a combination of a monthly subscription fee and roughly a $0.27 per minute fee. You can choose from many different plans, starting at around $10 per month all the way up to around $500. The more expensive plans include meal, pharmacy, and grocery services, as well as medical appointments; depending on each individual's abilities and needs, these may be unnecessary. The roughly $10 per month plan only includes transportation services to medical appointments.

GoGoGrandparent is a great option for older individuals needing assistance in booking transportation. The company does all the planning and booking, making it an easy and cost-effective solution for those who can no longer drive.

Best for On-Demand Response : Uber


Key Specs
  • Cost: Varies per ride
  • Availability: Across the U.S.
  • Eligibility: Available to anyone with the Uber app
Why We Chose It

We chose Uber because you can get rides quickly, it's available all over the country, and has affordable rates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large service area

  • Can request rides on demand

  • Can schedule rides in advance

  • Healthcare providers can schedule rides for their clients

Cons
  • Uber Health is relatively new and underutilized

  • App can be confusing for older adults

  • Must use third party service if you don’t have a smartphone

  • Sparse coverage in rural areas

Overview

Uber, the company that has become synonymous with ride-sharing apps, will always be a fan favorite. Originally used by young adults who want to avoid driving impaired, it provides quick and easy service to most areas around the country. Uber drivers are available 24 hours a day.

Need to get to a last-minute appointment or do groceries? Uber rides can be requested on-demand through the app, website, or through a third-party service like GoGoGrandparent. You can also request UberAssist, which sends drivers who provide additional assistance to older individuals and people with health conditions. UberAssist drivers are specifically trained to help riders into vehicles and have vehicles large enough to accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters.

Uber rates are competitive and often less expensive than a local taxi service, but they change depending on the time of day, availability, and trip duration. You can use the Uber app to request a ride for yourself, or if you are managing rides for a loved one, you can use the app to send a car to wherever they are. UberHealth, a platform for doctors' offices or senior centers, allows staff to schedule rides for clients on their behalf.

You can schedule rides ahead of time on the app, which is convenient if you are planning for doctor's appointments or trips. Overall, if you are tech-savvy or want to manage rides from afar, Uber is an excellent choice for on-demand transportation.

Best for Insurance Coverage : Veyo


Key Specs
  • Cost: Fee per ride
  • Availability: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia
  • Eligibility: Older individuals with Medicare or Medicaid
Why We Chose It

Veyo is a full-service, non-emergency medical transportation broker that works directly with state government agencies and care organizations to manage transportation for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Paid directly by insurance

  • Does not require a smartphone to use but is smartphone compatible

  • Easy to book transportation

Cons
  • Not available in all states

  • Only for non-emergency medical transportation

  • Not able to sign up for Veyo individually

Overview

Veyo is a senior transportation service for non-emergency medical transportation that coordinates with Medicare and Medicaid providers. If your insurance plan covers non-emergency medical transportation, Veyo may be an option for you.

You do not need a smartphone to use Veyo; just call the call center directly and request trips as needed. However, if you have a smartphone, there is a convenient app available for tracking rides in real time. All drivers contracted through Veyo are background-checked, drug-tested, CPR-trained, and have ADA/HIPAA/customer sensitivity training. All vehicles have four doors, are newer than 2006, and have passed safety inspections.  

There is no direct cost for using Veyo services, and all expenses are paid directly by your insurance provider. You need to work with your health plan to determine if it uses Veyo and get signed up prior to calling for your first ride.

Veyo is a great option for older people with insurance coverage that covers non-emergency medical transportation costs and can help you book rides when needed. However, it only operates in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia, with additional markets coming soon.

Final Verdict 

If you or your loved one can no longer drive, there are many services available to help you get where you need to go. Great Call is our top pick for best senior transportation service because it is so convenient and easy to use. Thanks to its partnership with Lyft, you can catch a ride nearly anywhere. You don't even need an app. Plus, Great Call bills rides directly to your cell phone bill. 

When picking a transportation service, keep in mind how quickly you'll need to schedule rides, how long you're willing to wait for pickup, and whether you need any additional accommodations, like a vehicle equipped to carry a walker or wheelchair. It's also important to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements before selecting a specific service.

Ride-sharing services help decrease caregiver burden, while giving users increased independence to attend medical appointments, social events, and more with ease. Ultimately, you'll need to choose one based on what works best for you.

Compare the Best Senior Transportation Services

Best Senior Transportation Service  Cost Availability Eligibility
Great Call + Lyft Best Overall Pay per ride, cost determines by Lyft Available in locations where Lyft operates  Must have a Great Call phone
iTNAmerica Best for Low Cost Annual fee of about $50 to $80 + cost per ride  Affiliates across 10 states and partners all over the US People 60 or older, or with vision impairment
Paratransit Best for Public Transport Varies depending on the community, less than private transportation  Across the U.S. in major cities People over the age of 65, or those with health conditions
GoGoGrandparent Best for Private Transport Monthly fee of approximately $10 to $500 plus cost per ride; cost per ride is determined by Uber or Lyft  Across the U.S. and Canada Older adults or those with certain conditions
Uber Best for On-Demand Response Fee per ride determined by Uber Across the U.S. Available to anyone with the Uber app
Veyo Best for Insurance Coverage Fee per ride billed directly to the insurance Operates in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia Older individuals with Medicare or Medicaid

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Seniors Get Around Without a Car?

Senior transportation services provide rides to older individuals who are unable to drive on their own. They can be operated by ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft or through public transportation services. Drivers are often trained in working with those with physical or mental conditions, and some services are covered by insurance or are government-funded, making them cost-effective solutions to those on a fixed income. 

What Are the Costs Associated With a Senior Transportation Service?

Most senior transportation services charge per ride and costs can vary depending on availability, location, time of day, and distance traveled. Some transportation services are government-funded or covered by insurance, making them very low-cost options. Private transportation services sometimes charge a monthly fee in addition to each ride, while others only charge per ride. If you use a private transportation service, it will be billed directly to your credit card or your phone bill, so there's no need to worry about having enough cash on-hand to pay for your ride.

At What Age Can a Person Begin Using a Senior Transportation Service?

Many senior transportation services are tailored to individuals over the age of 60 or 65 or those with certain conditions. It is always best to check with your local agency or insurance company to determine if you qualify. 

Are Senior Transportation Services Available Anytime?

Many services are available 24/7 but depend on driver availability. Some services are only available in some regions of the country. If you are using a service such as Uber or Lyft, there is often limited service in rural areas making wait times longer and rides unavailable at times. It is always best to have a backup option if you live in a rural area or need to be at an appointment that you cannot miss. 

Does Uber Offer Discounts to Seniors?

Uber does not offer discounts for older individuals. However, Uber offers discounts and promotions from time to time, so you may want to check to see if any are available before using this service.

Why Is Transportation a Problem for Older Adults?

Transportation may be difficult for older adults for various reasons, including lack of access to a car, medical conditions that make getting around or driving challenging, as well as poor sidewalk conditions that make walking or bike riding potentially dangerous.

Methodology

We looked at eight senior transportation services available in the U.S. and explored both government-funded options as well as private services that are either private pay or covered by insurance. We looked for ride-sharing options that give older individuals the ability to call for a ride instead of using an app or allow someone else to schedule transportation for them.

senior transport

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Article Sources
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