Ever since Uber and other ridesharing apps came around, advocates for the elderly and disabled recognized rideshare as a concept that could greatly benefit older people who can no longer drive. But older people have missed out on the rideshare revolution so far because Uber and Lyft require a smartphone, a data plan, and the ability to use the app — all large barriers for older adults.
GoGoGrandparent is a service that’s seeking to close the rideshare access gap by giving older people a way to access Uber and Lyft without a smartphone or a computer. It’s not a standalone rideshare service with its own app and fleet of drivers. Instead, it’s a go-between that charges a small fee to arrange Ubers and Lyft’s for older riders. Relatives and caretakers can use GoGoGrandparent to call in a ride and monitor the progress.
In this article, I’ll cover how to create a GoGoGrandparent account, how to request a ride, and why you would use this service instead of requesting an Uber.
What is GoGoGrandparent?
- A service that allows you to call an Uber of Lyft without using the app
- An older person can call the service themselves, or someone can call the service on their behalf
- You can schedule rides in advance for medical appointments, family visits etc.
- The charge is $0.19/minute on top of normal Uber and Lyft rates
- Regular Uber and Lyft drivers handle the requests, and are subject to the background check policies of those companies
- Available in 49 states and Canada. Exceptions are Alaska and Austin, TX
How to create a GoGoGrandparent account
You can create a free account at GoGoGrandparent registration page. You’ll need to enter basic user information like name, phone number, and home address. You can also add additional health information to let the service know if the main user has any impairments that drivers would need to know about to best accommodate the user. Entering health information is a crucial step because it affects what type of ride will be requested.
Next, you’ll need to enter family contact information. One of the highlights of this service is that it allows family members to request and monitor the rides if they want to, so you’ll have to enter the best contact info for the family member who will be managing the rides.
Next you enter basic billing information to give GoGoGrandparent a credit card to charge for their service.
Brochure: You can receive an email brochure before you sign up, and after you sign up you’ll receive a brochure and a welcome kit. This is great for older people who will need a paper reference on how to use the service.
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How to request a ride using GoGoGrandparent
Whether you’re requesting a ride for yourself or for someone else, here’s how to get a ride:
- Call 1 (855) 464-6872
- Press 1 to request a ride to your home
- Press 2 to request a pickup from the last place you were dropped off
- Press 0 to speak to an operator to get picked up from a different location, or to get help
What happens after you request a ride
After you request a ride, stay on the line to hear when your driver will arrive, the make, model, and color of their car, and the driver’s name. You can also stay on the line and press 3 to contact the driver.
You can get live updates if you request a ride for someone else
When you set up your account, you can choose to receive live updates when you request rides. You’ll get text messages that let you know when a ride is requested, when a driver is on the way, and when the rider arrived. It’s a great way to track the ride without having to micromanage each step.
Who drives for GoGoGrandparent? Is it safe?
GoGoGrandparent’s doesn’t hire their own fleet of drivers. Instead, it’s a go-between service that requests Ubers or Lyfts. The drivers will be regular Uber and Lyft drivers, who are subject to the background check and driving record checks (See Uber background requirements and Lyft background requirements) that all drivers have to undergo once each year. Although the news likes to report on anything that goes wrong with rideshare, Ubers and Lyfts are as safe as any other transportation service.
How much does GoGoGrandparent cost?
GoGoGrandparent charges $0.19/minute on top of normal Uber and Lyft rates, starting when you request a ride and stopping when the ride is over.
Do they accommodate disabled people?
Yes. GoGoGrandparent will call Uber’s wheelchair-accessible service, WAV/Assist, for riders that use wheelchairs or need other special assistance. If the rider only needs a little extra time to get into the car and a hand getting in and out, a regular Uber will be requested and the driver will be notified that the rider might need some help getting in and out of the car.
Why use GoGoGrandparent instead of requesting an Uber yourself?
You can request a ride for someone else using the Uber app, but it’s not very easy. You have to carefully select the other person’s location, then you’ll have to contact the driver and let them know they’re picking up someone else. There’s no way for the person getting the ride to contact the driver, so any communication problems will go through you. With GoGoGrandparents, you can request a ride for someone else and give the driver and passenger a way to coordinate the pickup.
This service is great for older people who want the independence to request rides for themselves without having to buy a smartphone and learn how to use it. The telephone system is something familiar to all older people, so most users should eventually be able to do it themselves. The monitoring systems keep you updated without forcing you to micromanage the ride. The service also provides a brochure and telephone support, so older people will have a paper reference that reminds them how to use the service, and a real live person who can help them through the process. Overall, it’s an innovative way to give older people access to ridesharing apps.