Lyft now catering to the elderly with it’s new ride scheduling feature


So the other day I started off by giving a ride to an older woman accompanied by her daughter. The destination was a medical office that did lab testing. I dropped off the passengers and then parked and sat in the parking lot for a minute to look at my lyft app and see where any good locations nearby may be. 1 minute later I received another ride request, the pick-up was from the same lab. I drove back to the front of the place to find her but I didn’t see anybody that looked like they needed a ride and it didn’t display a picture of the passenger. What to do now? The timer is counting down and all I see are a few people sitting on the benches. I decided to turn off the car and try and find this lady. I saw one lady sitting there that looked like she could be the one so I approached her and asked her if she was waiting for a ride and confirmed her name. Sure enough it was her. She was old and walked really slow, I helped her into the car and also attached the seatbelt for her because she was struggling. That’s basic routine for me anyways for when I take my grandmother on her weekly grocery shopping trips so I knew how an older person needed to be treated with care.

Driving her home is the time I found out about this new trend that lyft is setting.

I asked her about the laboratory and how she set up the ride with lyft because she definitely didn’t have a smartphone. She basically didn’t even know what lyft was. She told me that they set everything up for her. As far as she knew it was just another shuttle service that the lab calls to pick up and drop off patients.

She then began to tell me more about how she enjoyed this new service the lab was using because they also schedule pickups for their future appointments which makes it easy for her. At this point I knew I had some research to do because I was interested in how this all works. After dropping off the passenger I decided to look into it and sure enough Lyft has been working capturing a new part of the ride share market that is wide open for grabs. Smart move on lyfts side but now just like taxis, shuttle companies that work with such laboratories will soon dissappear.

Here are some more of the details from the lyft website….

We’re excited to announce we’ve partnered with Aging2.0, the leading aging innovation network, to bring awareness to and solutions for seniors’ transportation challenges. Aging2.0 joins a group of partners we’ve been working with across aging-focused care communities, care providers, technology providers, and transportation services to build the best ride experience possible for seniors everywhere.

“Lyft is the fastest growing on-demand transportation service in the United States, and its mission to bring people together resonates with our community-driven approach. We are delighted to welcome Lyft to the Aging2.0 Alliance community, and we’re excited about their newly launched, efficient and affordable transportation option for older adults and senior care providers.” – Scott Peifer, VP of Alliance Development at Aging2.0

No Smartphone, No Problem

Through our partnership with GreatCall, a San Diego connected health company that provides services for older adults, rides for seniors are just a phone call away. Seniors can request a ride through Jitterbug, a simplified award-winning cell phone produced by GreatCall. Seniors with the Jitterbug phone just press “0” to connect to GreatCall’s Personal Operator Service, and their Lyft ride will arrive in minutes.

As I said before, this is a excellent idea for lyft and will give drivers more places to pick up passengers. The biggest question is….. Will drivers be paid more for providing the extra care needed for assisting elderly and handicapped people?

I think lyft needs to have special training for these drivers and should also pay them more for these rides. In most cases the passengers from these locations will not even know lyft exists, they probably don’t have a smartphone either. Both of those are reasons why you probably won’t get a tip. On top of that, most of these people are on a fixed income so they don’t have money to throw around.

There should be a queue for these locations as well. If several drivers are standing by then it would be necessary to keep things fair.

Conclusion 

Overall the idea is great. I can’t really come to any real decision about how I feel though because I still have to many questions about how drivers will be compensated for the extra time and care needed for these delicate passengers.

 

Read the full lyft article hear for more details: https://blog.lyft.com/posts/new-solutions-to-keep-seniors-moving

 

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