One in five seniors over 65 does not drive, and one-half of all seniors are forced to stay at home on any given day because they have no transportation options. It can be even worse in rural areas, where lack of public transportation leaves few mobility choices for seniors who are unable to drive. That’s
It’s important for seniors to have transportation options so they can visit a doctor or dentist or keep their social independence with family and friends. A recent AAA Senior Survey concluded “Next to health, transportation is the most important issue for seniors.”
For non-driving seniors, accessible transportation is vital for independence and staying in their own home as long as possible. Of course, public transportation, when available, can help seniors keep their mobility, but it lacks the flexibility to allow seniors to attend social events or to visit friends.
One successful solution to the mobility issues faced by non-driving seniors is a paid transportation service that can help seniors go where they want, stay as long as they want and still get home. A private senior transportation business can offer a safe way for non-driving seniors to easily get around and maintain an active and independent life.
Unlike public transit, which offers “curb-to-curb” service, a private senior transportation service offers “door-through-door” service, with personal assistance helping the seniors out of their home and through the door of their destination, such as a doctor’s office, and back.
Most private senior transportation providers also offer a waiting service and companionship, so the driver is there when a client is ready to return home from an appointment. Drivers also can accompany clients on shopping trips, such as a trip to the grocery store or shopping mall. A senior transportation business can give your clients safe, reliable transportation.
Not a “cabulance.” Unlike many medical transportation companies, a basic senior ride service does not require any special vehicles or wheelchair-equipped vans. There are far more seniors who are able to walk and just need a ride on a regular basis. Many senior ride services carry a folding wheelchair in the trunk “just in case” to be prepared for any situation.
Services to offer. The most popular services are door-to-door transportation for medical appointments, shopping and errands, hair salon visits, special outings, sightseeing tours, airport drop-off and pickup, church services and casino trips.
What to charge: Most senior transportation providers charge either a flat hourly rate that covers everything, including waiting time at appointments, or a pickup and drop off fee plus an hourly rate, billed in 15-minute increments. For example, a $5 pickup and drop off fee and $36 an hour. In some instances, such as extended sightseeing trips, a per-mile charge is added to cover increased vehicle maintenance. Be sure to check with your insurance agent and your state transportation agency to determine what is required to offer this service.
You can be a big help to those who are unable to drive to appointments, shopping, church or anywhere else they want to go, help prevent feelings of isolation, and bring cheer to a senior’s life by providing a senior ride service. The rewards go far beyond money, as your senior clients will appreciate and value your service that helps them stay independent as long as possible.
To learn more, check out our guidebook, Start Your Own Senior Transportation Business.