For many Americans, the decision to give up driving is often a difficult one. For some, this seemingly simple act may be equivalent to surrendering a piece of their independence.
Seniors who are unable to drive or have limited mobility choices often experience a loss of self-esteem and feelings of helplessness. Over the next 20 years, as the number of Americans ages 65 and older grows to more than 71 million people, we will likely see mobility concerns multiply.
But conversations about mobility and older Americans aren’t just limited to those who give up driving. Older Americans may rely on transportation options for a multitude of reasons—not just because of an inability to drive. Just as important to the conversation about mobility are older Americans who are looking for the freedom and flexibility provided by driving for Uber. Accessing reliable transportation, venturing out more to explore the city where you live, and staying active and engaged are different ways Uber can benefit older riders and drivers.
Uber teamed up with AARP recently in Sarasota for a roundtable event to discuss how residents can harness technology and the ridesharing economy to improve their day-to-day lives. Dr. Kathy Black, professor of aging at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee; Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida director; and Uber’s public policy manager, Stephanie Smith, led the discussion with nearly 100 local residents.
Our goal is to help communities rethink transportation options across all generations. From showing future riders how to use Uber to guiding potential drivers through the onboarding process, our partnership with AARP helps connect people with the resources they need to unlock new possibilities.
Creating “age-friendly communities” doesn’t stop at better housing and increased opportunities for residents to participate in community activities. It means creating a culture of connectivity. We are proud to have older Americans riding and working with us every day. Together with AARP, we know that the possibilities are endless.