Uber Without the Smartphone

Issue 07-16-17   |   Reviewer:   Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.


About 15 percent of Americans have used ride-­hailing apps, only 4 percent of seniors have used an Uber-style service, while 33 percent have never heard of them, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Uber and Lyft have developed and are expanding services aimed at arranging rides for seniors. Uber has begun testing wheelchair-assistance services akin to a program called Lyft Access and adding an emergency call button similar to Life Alert.

Both Uber and Lyft are also refining voice commands and other features with an eye to attracting more tech-savvy seniors. Retirees Anne and Bob Carr, founders of Common Courtesy, a small nonprofit that created multiple Uber accounts to book rides on behalf of other people, charge a $3 fee on each ride they coordinate and $1 on rides coordinated by one of the other Common Courtesy chapters, which charge comparable prices depending on the market. 

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