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.