How MaaS enhances senior transportation services
The American population is aging. According to the National Council on Aging, the U.S. is experiencing record growth in the 65-plus demographic, with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day.
For several years, concerns have abounded about whether or not infrastructure exists to help this growing demographic get to and from their destinations affordably, safely and comfortably. This doesn’t just apply to patients 65 and older who are on Medicare and eligible for non-emergency medical transit (NEMT). Many older adults are leery about driving in general, according to the American Society on Aging, especially at night, in bad weather and on high-speed roads.
The alternatives often come with unfavorable tradeoffs. For example, walking and biking might not be suitable for seniors with limited mobility. Taking public transit, meanwhile, isn’t always an ideal choice. Suburban and rural areas tend to have fewer public transportation options. And, again, those with limited mobility might not feel comfortable standing up on a crowded bus or train, or waiting outside alone as they make transfers between routes.
Even taxis and ride-sharing come with their drawbacks, mainly in terms of cost, especially during surge pricing. Finally, the most affordable alternative – getting help from family and friends – can leave older adults feeling like they’re a burden on loved ones.
The good news is that in response to these struggles, a series of no-cost and low-cost senior transportation services have emerged that help to chauffeur older adults to and from their destinations. As time passes, we believe that digital Mobility-as-a-Service platforms may be able to help not-for-profits offering free or discounted trips to optimize senior transport services.
Volunteers leading the way
For years now, volunteers have been the lifeblood of senior transportation services. Altruistic members of various communities are dispatched through nonprofit organizations that help older adults find rides to and from their destinations.
One example of this is MyRide, which operates in several states throughout the U.S. The service is tailored to older adults. Volunteer drivers are trained to assist seniors by helping them in and out of the vehicle and by ensuring that they have no trouble getting from their house into the car and vice versa.
This “door-through-door” experience helps restore a sense of independence in older adults. For many seniors, it’s the only reason they can continue to live at home.
MaaS’s contribution to a better life for older adults
The use of software specifically designed for people movement can help the nonprofits that service aging Americans by centralizing their entire operation into a single, easy-to-use, low cost platform.
MaaS makes it easy to:
- Coordinate volunteers’ schedules.
- Optimize routes to cover the most amount of ground per each driver’s shift.
- Let passengers easily schedule trips over the phone, via email, SMS or through social media.
- Track trip progress in real time.
These benefits help nonprofits accomplish more in less time, allowing them to handle larger numbers of trip requests, and improve the lives of older adults by offering them greater flexibility and independence.
To learn more about MaaS, stop and say hello to the WellRyde team at ASA’s Aging in America Conference. This year’s event will be held in San Francisco, March 26-29, and we’d love to meet you and chat more about how MaaS can help older adults live more independently.