Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
About a decade ago, getting into a stranger’s car and telling them where to take you would be viewed as ill-advised at best. But with the rise of rideshare apps like Uber, Lyft and others, nothing seems more ordinary.
The system comes with a lot of benefits; it tends to be cheaper than traditional taxis, it works effectively anywhere and you can get practically wherever you want to go.
Combine the rideshare phenomenon with more traditional modes of transportation, and the world has gotten more mobile than ever before with plenty of options to travel. Alas, almost all those options still cost money. Luckily for senior citizens, there are also plenty of opportunities to save money while getting around.
The bigger rideshare companies all have their own apps, and, if you know what to look for, there are loads of ways to save.
When using any of these apps, keep an eye out for promo codes that can help you save even more.
In recent promotions, Lyft and Uber both advertised promo codes which gave 10% discounts to seniors when entered on their apps. These promo codes aren’t always going to be available, so watch out for new campaigns.
However, Lyft’s subscription service Lyft Pink does offer discounts for seniors on top of the discounted rides it offers regularly, with plans starting at $9.99.
For those who need to travel on a regular basis or have a busy schedule, Pink can help you save a bundle.
In addition, you can call Lyft directly and ask for drivers who are accommodating to seniors. Lyft has also partnered with Lively Jitterbug phones to make Lyft even more accessible to seniors.
Investopedia has laid out a comprehensive study comparing the two rideshare giants, Lyft and Uber, and concluded that overall Uber is the cheaper company to use, averaging $20 to Lyft’s $27 for a ride.
On top of that, Uber does have an expanded range of programs and options for seniors.
On Uber’s homepage, the rideshare service lists the many benefits they offer seniors, including fare reduction. Uber also helps senior citizens specifically in scheduling discounted rides to medical appointments through Uber Health.
Uber has also paired with AARP to provide a Ride Pass service, to help those uncomfortable with using smartphones to plan rides.
Gogograndparent connects seniors to rideshare services and arranges deliveries of groceries and medications.
It features a simple, easy-to-use numbered menu and a live service that can help customers find the best and cheapest options. It also includes several financing options to help seniors save even more.
On top of helping connect people with rideshare services, Gogograndparent is also connected to Postmates, Doordash and other delivery services for anything you may need in a hurry.
HopSkipDrive, a service specifically tailored to provide transportation for children and senior citizens, has also been expanding across the country.
They offer family plans and flexible rates that can help senior members of any large family. HopSkipDrive is a newer service and still expanding, so check out their website to see if your area is covered.
Other Rideshare Discounts for Seniors
Medicare has also made resources available to help senior citizens get around, such as NEMT (Non-Emergency Medical Transportation) programs, which provide free rides to medical appointments.
Through Medicare, NEMT programs can be found in every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. One of the partners in this program, MTM, provides the service to most of Florida.
Finally, seniors can also find free rides through Volunteer Driver Programs. A self-explanatory title, Volunteer Driver Programs help seniors travel for free and are funded by a variety of companies, ministries and charity organizations.
Such programs can be found across the country, ready to help out wherever you live.
Other Ways Seniors Can Save on Transportation
For seniors still driving their own vehicle, AAA offers a variety of discounts and programs tailored to senior citizens, including discounts to 30,000 retailers.
Dial-a-ride programs can also be found across the country, usually managed by the same public transportation companies in your area. These programs, such as ACCESS LYNX in the Orlando area, work similarly to rideshare programs. They use shuttles to deliver customers to their chosen destinations, can schedule pick-up times and offer discounts for seniors.
When it comes to standard public transportation service, senior citizens can expect some form of discount. Once more using Orlando’s Lynx bus system as an example, their AdvantAge program provides reduced fares for anyone over 65 with a valid Medicare ID.
But again, Orlando’s offers are just an example. Buses, subways, trains and taxi services across the country usually offer senior discounts. Don’t be afraid to ask about reduced fares. Most transportation services will have their own unique programs, so be sure to do your research on public transportation in your area.
If seniors are unable to drive, many local governments will offer free transportation as well. This will need official documents, such as a doctor’s note and proof of income, but these programs are available in rural areas and urban centers across the country.