At a church luncheon I learned about Go Go Grandparent, a nationwide platform to provide more convenient access to Lyft/Uber rides for older persons.
The service focuses on serving older persons without cars and who prefer to use the telephone, not an app, to request ride services. The service would be similar to calling a taxi; however, it adds a set of information options so that repeat visits are as easy as pressing 1, 2, or 3 on the phone when prompted.
The cost of the service is 27 cents per minute plus the usual Lyft/Uber fee.
A Community Service Business Model
The reason for presenting this service at this luncheon, attended mostly by seniors, was to replace the ad hoc, erratic demand for ride pickups to church that had been the responsibility of the deacons. The church’s volunteers were not insured and the demand unpredictable.
The Church decided to “outsource” its service. In addition it had received a donation to pay all costs for the first year.
Go Go’s website does not identify attending church as one of the many examples for transportation that non car owning seniors might require. Rather it lists doctors’ visits, shopping and other errands that are part of older persons required away from home visits.
A Partnership Model
The church’s sponsorship and underwriting the first year, the use of existing ride services, the convenience of traditional telephone communications (versus an app) demonstrate how vital partnering is to the success of this startup’s business model.
For it would take much greater capital to sign up persons one at a time in the demographic the business is trying to reach. By creating an information data base of passenger destinations, Go Go helps users manage their own transportation rather than starting all over each time a ride is needed.
Credit Union Implications
Two observations from this example. Is there an equivalent transportation need for a group of your senior members?
Secondly, Go Go is a national platform dependent on local services and organizations to market and complete each ride. Could such a solution be better managed locally? Go Go stores users’ destination data; it inspects drivers’ vehicle for special need passengers, and it claims to interview each driver for sensitivity to older person’s physical limitations.
Should credit unions be fostering these kinds business startups for their communities?