Avenidas, the nonprofit social services agency, has formed an official partnership with the ride-sharing company Lyft to provide rides to seniors and help them get around town.
Avenidas’ Door to Door Transportation program currently provides 5,300 rides annually to seniors on the Peninsula. After a successful pilot program, it initiated the permanent arrangement with Lyft.
“Many of the older adults whom we serve either don’t feel comfortable using apps on their phones, or don’t even own a smartphone at all,” said Avenidas President and CEO Amy Andonian. “And now, thanks to this unique partnership with Lyft, Avenidas will handle the ride scheduling for them.”
Andonian said an additional benefit of joining forces with Lyft is that Avenidas is no longer fully dependent on having enough volunteer drivers and can now fulfill all ride requests.
The Avenidas Door to Door program takes individual requests, referrals from social workers, calls from other senior centers and hospitals, and calls from adult children on behalf of their parents. The program serves seniors from all income levels who live on the Peninsula, including those with cognitive and physical limitations.
The rides are critical to people who no longer drive, Andonian said, as they help prevent isolation by getting people to the places they want to go, and keep them healthy by getting them to important medical appointments.
“I have had four rides with Lyft during the pilot program and found the drivers to be very professional and eager to get me to my destination on time,” said Avenidas Door to Door client Virginia Fehrenbacher.
The cost is $9 for short rides (0-3.9 miles), $13 for medium rides (4-7.9 miles) and $18 for long rides (8-12 miles). There is a fee of $7.50 for rides canceled without 24-hour notice.
Avenidas offers tools for positive aging to people and their families on the mid-Peninsula. Avenidas runs a community center in downtown Palo Alto, the dual-licensed Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center in Mountain View that provides adult day care and adult day health care, and an aging-in-place membership program, Avenidas Village.
To book a ride, call 289-5411.
For more information, call 289-5400 or visit avenidas.org.