Have you stopped driving? Or do you want your aging mother to stop driving?
You don’t know where to turn for solutions?
Let Women Driving Women help you figure out what Sonoma County senior transportation service is right for you or your mom.
Too many drivers are under the mistaken impression that reliable quality transportation services are easily accessible for non-drivers–especially seniors. Too many adult children of aging parents believe when a parent stops driving, there’s plenty of transportation options (like the paratransit buses they see driving around Sonoma County) that will drive a parent to wherever they need to go. Unfortunately, this is not true for many rural Sonoma County residents and those living in smaller towns without a Paratransit service.
There are also specific eligibility requirements to use Paratransit services. In the city of Santa Rosa, you must call the city evaluation contractor, C.A.R.E, who is an independent assessment organization to schedule an in-person paratransit eligibility interview. At the assessment interview, the rider will be asked to assess their ability to use Santa Rosa City Bus fixed-route service. (Source: SRCity.org)
Sonoma County Transit offers fixed bus routes in Sonoma County, but they are limited in routes and times and are notoriously unreliable. Riders have been known to sit at a bus stop waiting for a bus that never arrives. Plus, the fact that the bus stops often don’t have any protection from the elements.
If your parent lives in a city like Santa Rosa where there is a pretty regular bus service, they may be able to get to where they want to go. However, they still have to deal with getting to and from the bus stop to their chosen destination. They can’t purchase very much from the store because of the difficulty in carrying bags while walking several blocks or more to and from a bus stop. Like Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, and Windsor, Sebastopol transit runs a limited bus route within the city limits between the Fairfield Inn on 116 to the south to Mill Station Road to the North, and Ragle Rd & Covert Lane to the west to Bodega Avenue & North Main Street. If a senior lives well beyond the bus routes, they face how to get to and from the bus stop, which defeats the purpose of using a transit service.
The city of Rohnert Park offers a Sunshine Bus service for seniors using a mini-bus. Rides are available in the mornings for seniors residing in Rohnert Park, Cotati, and Penngrove on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for medical appointments, shopping or other personal needs. On Thursday mornings, the Sunshine Bus drives to Santa Rosa for medical, DMV or Social Security only. Riders must call at least one day and up to a week in advance to catch a ride. The cost is $7.00 per round trip for Rohnert Park appointments and $10.00 for trips to Santa Rosa. There are requirements to participate in the ride program. Seniors must be at least 60-years-old or older or disabled and unable to drive a motor vehicle, ride the public transit system, afford a taxi regularly, or has no regular means of transportation. Seniors must be able to get on and off of the Sunshine Bus without help unless there is a caregiver present. (Source: SonomaSeniorAccess.org)
The new ridesharing trend with companies like Uber and Lyft have to lead to more transportation choices for seniors who no longer drive. However, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft require a smartphone or the ability to access their website to book rides. In a survey by AARP, only 29 percent of those over 50 had used ride-hailing apps. Two-thirds said they weren’t likely to do so in the coming year, citing in part concerns about safety and privacy. (Source: New York Times)
But beyond the technical requirements to use Uber or Lyft, seniors are taking a chance by riding with a stranger and not the same driver each time they need a ride. Seniors have no say in their choice of driver and having a permanent regular driver they enjoy.
Utilizing a rideshare service means you or your mom don’t have to let go of your independence. Setting aside money for a rideshare service instead of owning a car and all of the costs associated with one can end up saving money depending on how much you drive. Plus you don’t have to worry about maintenance!
Women Driving Women for Seniors
Here at Women Driving Women of Sonoma County, we understand that seniors need access to safe, reliable transportation to maintain their independence and quality-of-life. Women Driving Women is the alternative to Uber and Lyft in providing affordable, door-to-door, and door-through-door rides for Sonoma County seniors. Every rider gets a permanent driver–no riding with strangers. Your driver books all rides, so you don’t have to mess around with a Smartphone app or a website booking page. And Women Driving Women drivers must pass a stringent background check. You or your mom can safely get to the places you need by becoming a member of Women Driving Women.
Why not call us today?