Skip to main content

Older Adult Access to Rideshare Services

2HNM0HC Help and support asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient walk with walker prepare get to her car, healthy strong medical concept.
First-ever study of rideshare services available to adults over 65
  • Client
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Dates
    September 2017 – December 2020

Problem

Older adults need access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.

Rideshare services can promote the independence of older adults. There is a lack of research on the types of rideshare services available to older adults in the U.S., the characteristics of those services, and the factors that may affect older adults' use of rideshare services.

Solution

NORC studied rideshare services for older adults in the U.S. and factors affecting their use.

On behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, NORC identified and characterized rideshare services available to older adults. We conducted an environmental scan, in partnership with the Independent Transportation Network of America (ITNAmerica), the first national, nonprofit transportation network for older people. The scan included:

  • An analysis of Rides in Sight, the largest national database on transportation services in the U.S., to identify available rideshare services
  • The creation of a demographic profile of older adults who used one nonprofit rideshare service

We also conducted a literature review and key informant interviews with ride-share and referral services and transportation experts and telephone interviews and in-person focus groups with older and younger adults to compare the barriers and facilitators of rideshare use. 

Result

Rideshare services offer older adults a promising alternative to driving.

Rideshare services may help address the negative health consequences associated with driving cessation. There are nearly 1,000 rideshare services available to older adults in the U.S., including 917 nonprofit rideshare services and 11 for-profit rideshare services. The use of rideshare services by older adults is affected by individual needs and preferences, social conditions, and business and policy factors. The most important facilitator of older adult use of ride share services was the desire to remain independent. The barriers and facilitators affecting the use of rideshare services differed for older and younger adults. The most important facilitator of younger adult use of rideshare services was information technology, whereas among older adults, information technology was a barrier. Rideshare services that use fully autonomous vehicles in the future may need to tailor transportation offerings for older adults to increase their willingness to use these services, address concerns about safety and reliability, and support their mobility and social needs.

Project Leads

“This study found that ride share services are a promising transportation option for older adults and have the potential to support older adults’ heath, mobility and independence.” 

Project Director

“This study found that ride share services are a promising transportation option for older adults and have the potential to support older adults’ heath, mobility and independence.” 

Data & Findings

Explore NORC Health Projects

Evaluation of Minnesota’s Home and Community-Based Services Assessment Process

Evaluation to understand disparities in Minnesota’s home and community-based services assessment process

Client:

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Understanding the Importance of Consistent Medicaid Coverage

A pandemic moratorium on Medicaid disenrollment allows for a unique study

Client:

Association for Community Affiliated Plans