As baby boomers age, many people are concerned about the safety of older drivers and their future mobility. Maybe you’re an older driver wondering how you are going to travel where you need to go and still maintain your independence. Sometimes, you can rely on family or friends, but it’s not always convenient.
At Mike’s Auto Body we know that most of us have friends or relatives that are seniors (60-plus), so we’re happy to share this blog with all of our readers in the Bay Area.
Fortunately, there are alternative transportation options. Organizations such as the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), and others can assist you in finding out about specific resources in your area.
Eldercare.gov offers suggestions on some transportation to explore:
Volunteer Driver Programs:
Many times, there is a network of volunteers who assist at non-profit and faith-based organizations and offer transportation. Whether you have a medical appointment, need to run to the grocery store or attend an event, there is usually no charge for this service or only a minimal cost.
These services are often provided by private agencies or aging organizations. Once you make a reservation, you’ll be picked up in a minibus or small van. The cost can vary from a donation to reduced fares.
For those who need help to their doors, there are agencies that will provide a personal level of assistance and support. Many people with severe disabilities find this service helpful.
There are a variety of bus and rail services available from public transit agencies. With no need to make a reservation in advance, just remember to check the schedule for your particular route before you climb on board.
There are instructional classes offered by public transit agencies and aging organizations that share tips and information with older adults about how to take public transit. A variety of topics is covered including information about different routes to take, operational hours, and fees and discounts available.
Need to schedule a ride in advance or on the spot? A taxi or service like Uber or Lyft might be the best option. Taxis usually charge per mile or minute and a base charge is added for each trip. Companies such as Uber and Lyft also allow you to book in advance and offer different classes of services or ridesharing.
Some organizations offer fare assistance programs. Those who qualify can purchase vouchers to travel by taxi, public transportation or other methods at a reduced rate.
Since transportation options vary from community to community, it’s best to reach out to a local agency or resource to find out the best choice in your area. There are two additional resources that can also be helpful:
The Eldercare Locator 800-677-1116; www.eldercare.gov and
The National Center on Senior Transportation 866-528-NCST (6278) www.seniortransportation.net
Sources: eldercare.gov, AARP and DMV.org