At some point it often becomes necessary for an older driver to turn in his or her car keys and stop driving. The loss of a lifetime of freedom and mobility while a necessary safety measure is extremely hard to accept. Providing accessible alternative “on demand” transportation would help older or impaired drivers to transition and forego driving. Safety is the prime reason but we must provide the ability to get from place to place as before. It’s cheaper and less stressful than hospitalization, court appearances and huge increases in auto insurance premiums after multiple accidents.
I propose this plan to provide an incentive to certain seniors to give up driving and for periodic refilling of their transportation account. Seniors would sell their cars with the proceeds deposited in a transportation credit account. Cars are sold at full retail price or close to it with an independent “broker” being paid a nominal commission. Funds received are then placed in a personal transportation account. Trip charges are deducted from the balance.
- When the balance from initial deposit is low it can
be filled from time to time or on a regular basis by children, friends, family or the user. The pattern is similar to the establishment and replenishment of an EZ pass account. I especially like the “easy pass” concept of children replenishing the transportation account on a regular basis.
- Transportation would be provided by a taxi company, limousine service or by a paid corps of volunteers. Rates could be adjusted for slow or peak times. Trip assignment would be made by a single call to a central one-stop dispatcher. Billing – with a reasonable tip for the driver – would be automatically deducted from the senior’s account.
- Accounting and administration including one stop phone
dispatching service would be concentrated in one agency.
- A great source of transportation would be a large corps of senior “volunteers” organized under a 501(c) (3). The drivers would use their own vehicles and receive a nominal hourly fee. The “paid volunteer” transportation service also provides both a source of 55+ employment and transporation both of the major needs cited by seniors.