Rideshare, non-profit companies offer free rides to senior citizens

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The non-profit, SeniorAge is teaming up with local rideshare service, carGO, to offer rides to senior citizens in Greene County who cannot get places on their own.

The free rides will take them to places such as doctors’ appointments and grocery store trips.

85-Year-old Shirley Talent is one senior taking advantage of SeniorAge and carGO’s recent partnership.

“One of the things I think we all think, that this getting old is going to be wonderful that we’re going to retire and nothings going to be a problem,” Talent said. “Everything is a little bit more of a problem.”

SeniorAge Care Coordinator Bailey Southard says these rides help seniors travel to get basic necessities.  

“Any of our seniors that don’t have a vehicle, can’t afford public transportation, things like that, we can give them a ride for all necessities,” said Southard. “For medical appointments, to buy groceries, to go pick up their prescriptions at pharmacies, to go to the bank.”

Kennon Choate, VP of business development for carGO, says what makes the company stand out over other rideshare companies, is they’re careful about who they chose to be a driver.

“There’s additional background checks,” Choate said. “The drivers that we hand select for this program…they’re very patient, they have good communication skills, they’re available a lot during the daytime and they have vehicles low to the ground.”

They’ve also made requesting a ride easier for seniors who may not be as adept in technology.

“We know that these older adults are uncomfortable with operating our app that we have available for the Springfield market so we actually have created a phone number where they can call into our call center, here, and book their ride to and fro,” Choate said.

It was an opportunity for the seniors in our community to get access to more personal transportation.”

Diana Antley, carGO driver

The free rides are paid for by grants.

Both Choate and Southard agree that the ride is much more than just a trip to the grocery store.

“I think this partnership has a lot to do with that trust and being able to feel comfortable and getting everything that they need fulfilled,” Southard said.

Talent says if it weren’t for the partnership, she wouldn’t have made her doctors’ appointments.

“Every six weeks I have to get a shot in my eye and I definitely couldn’t drive for that,” Talent said. “Trying to live in my home, by myself, there’s an awful lot of things and I’m sure grateful to have SeniorAge come in and help with a bunch of them.”

To see if you qualify for the program, you can contact SeniorAge by clicking here or call 417-862-0762.

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