For June – a very independent person – making the difficult decision to give up her own car after driving for over 60 years felt like “a huge setback.” Sprightly, active, and in her 80s, she was determined not to let transportation limitations deter her for long. After hearing about Uber from her grandchildren, June downloaded the app on her smartphone. Soon, she was riding all over Miami-Dade County, running errands, and visiting with family and friends — all with Uber.
“Uber gave me my wheels back.”– June, 86-year-old grandmother, Miami resident, and Uber rider
June’s story is a familiar one for many aging Americans: transportation is often one of the greatest challenges for older adults and for community organizations trying to meet their needs. In fact, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) estimates 26 million older Americans depend on others for their mobility.1 Research has shown that 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 — or 20% of the total population2 — we are likely to see senior mobility issues magnified.
Today, Uber will participate in the White House Conference on Aging and discuss Uber’s efforts to engage the senior community. At the event, we will announce the launch of a pilot program for community-based senior outreach. In cities across the country, Uber will offer free technology tutorials and free rides at select retirement communities and senior centers. Alongside public and private sector representatives, we hope to further the conversation about the way technology adoption can improve older adults’ day-to-day lives.
Senior riders find Uber to be an easy-to-use, safe, and affordable way to get around. To further meet this need, Uber is establishing partnerships with local senior advocates, organizations, and municipalities around the country.
For example, Uber is working with the City of Gainesville to offer on-demand transportation for residents of two senior centers as part of a six month program. Anytime a resident at a participating senior center needs a ride, he or she can request one at an even more affordable rate because of support from the city. Free technology tutorials will be available throughout, so residents of the participating centers can feel comfortable and at ease using Uber. Uber is also piloting a similar senior ride program in partnership with the Town of Miami Lakes.
In addition to these two programs already underway, several other Uber cities — Columbus, Austin, Tucson, Phoenix, and Ventura County, California — are running pilot programs with local senior organizations, alongside educational product tutorials and free or discounted rides.
You can hear June’s and other stories here, and learn more about why seniors are choosing Uber.