August 31st, 2021
Transportation can be challenging for seniors in southeast Michigan.
Public bus service is patchy and private transportation services are expensive. Not all senior centers offer free or low-cost rides to doctor appointments or the grocery store and for those that do, advance planning is absolutely necessary.
For seniors who can’t or don’t want to drive – or family members who would prefer their loved one turn over the car keys — the Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) can help.
Myride2 is a mobility management service of the Area Agency on Aging 1-B that can assist with finding and arranging low-cost rides for seniors and adults with disabilities in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. That includes wheelchair-accessible and door-to-door transportation. The service also provides real-world ‘travel training,’ which teaches seniors how to use public transportation while traveling with the program’s certified Travel Trainers. Myride2 also offers safe-driving education and presentations on mobility options in the region. And it will help you if you are that worried family caregiver with driver cessation counseling (see more in the box below).
“We see ourselves as a one-call/one-click mobility management service,” says LaVonna Howard, myride2’s Mobility Project Manager. When contacting the program “You’ll get an experienced Mobility Specialist who will assist you in finding the most efficient and affordable option for your trip. We are able to contact providers and even arrange the ride if necessary. We are able to do all the in-betweens.” The goal, she says, is “to connect with the caller and to relieve the burden of worrying about how they will get to that next medical appointment or maybe to the market for food.
“We really do dig in,” says Howard.
Myride2 does not pay for the transportation – that’s up to the rider.
A newer service of myride2 is a partnership with lyft, a private, app-based ride service. This option takes the strain off riders who can’t or don’t use apps and who may be uncomfortable providing payment information online. Myride2 will collect the rider’s credit or debit card information and arrange rides that originate and end between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. The lyft service is great for same-day transportation and may be cheaper than traditional taxi service, Howard says.
During 2020, Covid upended many public services, including transportation. Public buses are now operating at full capacity, but some are offering fewer rides because of a lack of drivers. Drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask.
As the case numbers drop, call volume at myride2 has jumped. The service is fielding no less than 300 unique callers each month – a reflection of how essential transportation remains for seniors.
When you call myride2 at (855) 697-4332, a mobility specialist will let you know what’s available for getting to where you or your loved one needs to go and will arrange rides if needed – even those that are wheelchair-accessible.
You can also visit the myride2 website to request a ride or get more information about transportation options.
Please call a few days in advance to arrange transportation.
Myride2 can also help if you’re worried about an older loved one’s driving skills?
Myride2 mobility specialists can help you understand the signs that a driver may need to give up his car keys. A mobility specialist can help you to fill out a form that requests a driver assessment through Michigan’s Secretary of State office – even anonymously. They can also help you make a mobility plan to help that older adult get around after they stop driving.
Mobility Project Manager LaVonna Howard offered this list of signs to look for if you feel a person may no longer be fit for the road:
Myride2 takes calls Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm.
Phone: (855) 697-4332