Lyft Looks to Open Services to Seniors Without Smartphones

The company has launched a third-party application in New York City that allows people to hail rides for others.

by / January 14, 2016

In an effort aimed specifically at improving access to medical care for senior citizens, Lyft has announced the launch of an application that allows users to hail rides for other people.

In a blog post Tuesday, Jan. 12, the ride-sharing company pointed out that senior citizens — especially in a place like New York City, where personal car ownership is low — often have trouble getting to medical appointments. In fact, the company cited research suggesting that more than 3 million people miss medical appointments or delay care each year in the U.S. because of a lack of transportation.

On top of that, according to the blog post, more than 25 percent of people older than 65 years in the U.S. don’t own a smartphone. So while companies like Lyft and Uber present an opportunity to get those people where they need to go, many lack the tools necessary to ask for a ride. 

So, working with the National Medtrans Network, Lyft is launching a third-party application called Concierge. With the app, users can enter a pickup and dropoff location for somebody else and, like the main Lyft app, a driver will receive a notification and come pick the person up.

Lyft said in the post that through the app, it’s providing 2,500 rides per week in New York City.