Uber and Lyft adopt phone operators to book rides for the appless elderly

Lyft and Uber adopted phone operators in the same week

Ride-hailing apps Uber and Lyft have identified a market each have failed to connect with - the elderly. As a result they are planning to bolster their appeal by rolling out convenient over-the-phone bookings.

Operating under the logic that for the less tech-savvy elderly, an app is not the most convenient port of call when booking transport, the firms have recently launched initiatives in the US where the seniors can phone an operator and book a ride as they would more traditional taxi services, according to the LA Times.

Last week in San Diego, Lyft partnered with elderly support service GreatCall. By dialling 0 on their GreatCall mobile handsets, users are able to speak to an operator and receive a fare estimate which will appear on the user’s monthly GreatCall bill if accepted. As added incentive they will get $5 off their first journey.

Around the same time, Uber made a play for the baby boomers by expanding a partnership with Los Angeles-based company 24Hr HomeCare, which also (as the name suggests) provides care and support to the elderly.

It built upon an existing scheme called UberASSIST designed to give seniors on-demand transportation from hospitals to their homes in an affordable manner. One caveat is that the user must have their credit card details on file with the company to book a ride however.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.