For most of us, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are the key to getting around when getting behind the wheel or taking public transportation isn’t practical. All we have to do is hit a few buttons on our smartphone and a car is on the way. While that’s second nature for millennials, one demographic that often lacks the tools to enjoy such a convenience is senior citizens. Now, Lyft has announced a partnership with National Medtrans Network that provides seniors with a way to get to their non-emergency medical appointments.
According to Lyft’s blog, about 3.6 million Americans are forced to miss or delay medical care each year because they’re unable to find a practical means of transportation to their destination. That figure includes Americans aged 65 and over, more than a quarter of whom don’t own a smartphone. That percentage rises as ages do. Lyft’s new partnership with National Medtrans Network is designed to ensure that seniors will make it to their medical appointments, and won’t need a smartphone to get a ride.
The Lyft At Work team has rolled out a third-party web application called Concierge which enables Lyft’s partners on the project to call the ride-hailing app and schedule a trip on behalf of a senior citizen. The person requesting the ride simply needs to input the name of the passenger, along with pick-up and drop-off locations.
The pilot program for Concierge has officially launched in New York City, where Billy McKee, president of National Medtrans Network, says that Medtrans currently provides 25,000 rides a week to the elderly. With the launch of the partnership, McKee says Medtrans is now aiming to service all of those ride requests through Lyft. The announcement on Lyft’s blog also reveals that the company plans to expand the initiative nationwide with other partners in the future.
In other Lyft news, the company recently announced that it’s partnering with GM to build a fleet of self-driving cars. Autonomous automobiles are at least a few years away from hitting the road, but the way things are shaping up, it’s looking like a call from grandma or grandpa asking how the hell is their Lyft car moving without a driver may be in your future.
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