Erickson Living tests two Lyft options for residents

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Lyft's Concierge tool allows staff members to request rides on behalf of residents who may not have smartphones or may not wish to use them for that purpose.
Lyft's Concierge tool allows staff members to request rides on behalf of residents who may not have smartphones or may not wish to use them for that purpose.

Erickson Living is testing two options related to the ride-hailing service Lyft at two of the 19 continuing care retirement communities it manages.

The pilot program is taking place at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, CO, and Riderwood in Silver Spring, MD, with the potential to be expanded to the Catonsville, MD-based company's other CCRCs across the country. If the expansion occurs, more than 24,000 residents could have access to Lyft. Erickson Living operates in 11 states.

Erickson Living residents and staff members are being trained on how to use Lyft's Concierge tool, which allows staff members to request rides on behalf of residents who may not have smartphones or may not wish to use them for that purpose. They also are being trained on how to use the traditional Lyft app that most people use to hail rides via the service.

Erickson Living hopes the availability of and familiarity with the service helps residents get to appointments, go shopping and travel to other destinations to live as independently as possible.

“We feel passionately about enabling our residents to live full, independent lives and know that having access to reliable, convenient transportation is an important part of that,” said Craig Erickson, executive director of Wind Crest. “Our partnership with Lyft is aligned with this mission.”

Lyft, founded in 2012, is available to 94% of the U.S. population, according to the company. Pilots such as this one expand the reach of the service.

Sunshine Retirement Living, Brookdale Senior Living and Ascension Living previously announced pilots or partnerships involving Lyft for individual resident trips. Sunshine also was looking at other uses for Lyft, such as employee transportation and the transporting of groups of residents for activities.

Lyft also launched a pilot program with Great Call whereby older adults who use Jitterbug flip phones in select markets could arrange for transportation through a personal operator reached by pressing “0” on the phone.

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