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Brief Published: 13 Sep 2016

Smartphone-Free Ride-Hailing for Seniors

Some 70% of US seniors don't have access to a smartphone

In late August, global ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft announced partnerships with service providers to allow seniors in the US to book cars over the phone, eliminating the need for smartphone apps.

Last week, Lyft partnered with senior care groups GreatCall and Home Care Assistance, while Uber teamed up with 24Hr HomeCare the week before. The partnerships come as both companies target seniors – 70% of whom don’t have access to a smartphone, according to research from Home Care Assistance.

Customers can dial zero on GreatCall’s senior-friendly Jitterbug mobile phones to access an operator who will book a ride on their behalf via Lyft’s Concierge platform. To book with Uber, customers can call RideWith24 to speak with an operator who will arrange the trip. Both services are currently available in California, Florida, Arizona and Dallas, Texas.

“We know older adults may have a more difficult time getting around,” explained Gyre Renwick, head of healthcare enterprise partnerships at Lyft. “In addition to night driving and freeway concerns, many don’t own or want a smartphone. So we created the Concierge platform to allow partners like GreatCall to provide this service to their members.

“Whether they’re going to a doctor’s appointment, shopping or lunch with friends, no one’s independence should be impacted by transportation concerns,” he added.

For more on the tech innovations changing the way people get from A to B, see our Radical Transport report. Read Seniors Level Up for insight into this independence-seeking demographic.