TCS has worked on a number of projects specifically designed for transportation service for elderly riders. For example, TCS assisted in the design and successful operation of one of the nation’s largest door-to-door transportation programs for the elderly, a system that provides daily service in taxicabs operated by select, trained drivers. The service is provided through the Area Agency on Aging and provides regularly scheduled service to groups of seniors who share rides in taxicabs to and from their residences and more than 25 participating congregate meal (nutrition) centers throughout the county. Using smaller taxi-style vehicles enables the program to receive the benefits of ride-sharing while keeping travel times low; ideally, a ride to the closest center requires only ten or fifteen minutes. This program also provides some transportation for people with special needs and for certain emergencies. The program utilizes specially trained drivers who are regularly scheduled for the seniors on their routes. Wheelchair accessible service is also available.
The program has been in service since 1994 and has averaged more than 150,000 trips per year. The program has stringent requirements for drivers, vehicles and service quality. TCS was instrumental in the design and implementation of this project, providing assistance with contracting provisions, the operating plan, startup of service, routing and scheduling of trips, quality assurance, etc.
TCS has worked on numerous other transportation projects for elderly clients in other locations in the United States, including projects that are dedicated to senior transportation service and well as projects that coordinate with other programs such as those that serve riders with mobility impairments or other challenges. Some programs provide regularly scheduled route-type service for recurring trips (such as congregate center services or adult day care), while other programs provide demand-response service for as-needed, short-notice trips for multiple trip purposes, such as medical needs or shopping, which is the case for a Cleveland, OH program to which TCS has provided service. (See also TCS related expertise on brokered and coordinated human service transportation projects that include various human service transportation components.) Transportation programs for the elderly can also use transportation vouchers or scrip for subsidized rides in taxicabs or other modes, another area of TCS expertise. (See also TCS expertise on taxicab subsidy and voucher programs described above.) A combination of these programs can be used to solve multi-faceted transportation needs for seniors.