Lyft Takes the Wheel for Homebound Seniors

Like other ride-sharing services before it, Lyft has made a foray into the health care world—with potentially beneficial results for home-bound seniors.

San Francisco-based Lyft announced Tuesday a partnership with National MedTrans Network, which arranges non-emergency medical transportation for clients, including seniors, in New York City.

Typically, National Medtrans Network calls livery cab companies to book rides to and from non-emergency medical appointments for patients.

As part of the pilot program, National MedTrans Network operators can book a Lyft car for clients using Concierge, a new web-based dashboard designed by Lyft.

It’s no secret that seniors can be resistant to technology. But Concierge enables Lyft’s partners to request rides for their customers through the Lyft platform, without the use of a smart phone, as is usually required. Instead, a requester simply inputs the passenger’s name, and a pickup and drop-off location, and a Lyft driver will be matched to provide the ride.

This may prove especially useful for NYC’s seniors population. According to Lyft, more than 25% of Americans 65 years old and older do not own smartphones.

National Medtrans is currently booking 2,500 of its 25,000 weekly rides in New York City via Lyft. The company’s president, Billy McKee, said in a blog post the company eventually wants to arrange all of those rides through Lyft.

“Using transportation-as-a-service like this, the health plans and government agencies we partner with are significantly reducing fraud, saving costs, and improving the patient experience,” McKee added.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson