“16 to 22 year olds don’t have licenses, they do group sharing” says a Toyota executive in a recent panel in San Francisco. In fact, only 26% of the US population of young person’s are now licensed to drive compared to a peak of 46% in 1983. This dramatic drop has been driven by many things including affordability (the expense of owing a car is over $25 per day), convenience (living and working in denser urban areas allows for non-car methods of travel) and availability of alternative methods of transportation (carsharing, ridesharing etc).
As the young are trailblazing this new paradigm in transportation, the elderly generation which experience transportation challenges in later life are also taking advantage. No more does a loss of license mean loss of freedom. In fact, it can be far cheaper and convenient to NOT own a car but still have the capability to use services such as volunteer drivers and other community senior transportation programs to get around. Senior ridesharing through volunteer drivers can be one of key enablers of affordable, safe and reliable elderly transportation. Most senior transportation programs also use scheduled and dispatch services allowing younger family members to get directly involved in the transportation and care of their elderly father and mother.
Please check out some practical senior transportation guidance from Judi Bonilla who will be holding workshops for older adults and their children as part of San Diego’s Older Driver Awareness Week from December 7-11, 2015. http://www.judibonilla.com/#!driver-awareness/s7zsf