Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Dallas Area Agency on Aging
We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing Dallas Area Agency on Aging's A “Lyft” at Your Service program. The agency was a 2019 Aging Innovations Award winner in the Transportation and Mobility category.
The Dallas Area Agency on Aging had been operating My Ride Dallas, a service that informed older adults about transportation options available in their communities. While the program had been successfully operating for 10 years, program staff noted that My Ride Dallas did not address the needs of older adults living in areas not reachable by public transportation. That's when the idea of involving the rideshare service Lyft was initiated and the A “Lyft” at Your Service program was born.
Through a contract between Lyft and the AAA, Lyft picks up and transports older adults weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the Lyft mobile app. Riders who don't use smartphones can use the services of the program's navigators to schedule rides. While many Lyft rides do not provide assistance with wheelchairs, this program has worked with Lyft to provide assistance to older adults who have fold-up wheelchairs and those who may need help getting into vehicles.
The program was wildly successful as it provided more than 3,000 rides to older adults between January and September 2019. Nearly all participants responded favorably—indicating that it was quite popular and a hit with the older adults who used it.
The Dallas AAA used this project to fill gaps in transportation services available in Dallas County. Most of the rides provided were to medical appointments that the older adults may have otherwise missed. Because the program is free to older adults, it alleviates the financial burden that paying for transportation sometimes puts on older adults, especially those who need repeat trips, e.g., to dialysis and other recurring medical appointments.
In an excerpt from a closeout survey that was sent to riders at the end of fiscal year 2019, one rider wrote that the program “not only enhanced the quality of my life, it also ‘saved' my life. I am experiencing on-going life-threatening medical conditions. Without receiving services from medical specialists, I would not have survived.” This inspiring program has changed the lives of many older adults and The Dallas Area Agency on Aging is to thank.
To learn more about Dallas Area Agency on Aging's A “Lyft” at Your Service program, contact Jessica Walker, Director of Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to learn more about the 2019 AIA Innovations winners? REGISTER NOW for our four-part webinar series, n4a Lunchtime Innovations, to hear your peers' secrets to success for these award-winning programs.
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!