Barriers and facilitators of older adults’ use of ride share services
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Barriers and facilitators of older adults’ use of ride share services

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Transp Health
    • Description:

      Safe, affordable, and convenient transportation may help older adults (age 65 and older) stay independent, access healthcare services, and maintain their quality of life. While older adults in the United States primarily rely on private automobiles, those who reduce or cease driving may require alternative forms of transportation. Ride share services show promise as an alternative mode of transportation for older adults, particularly for those who no longer drive.


      We employed a qualitative research design to explore barriers and facilitators of older adults’ use of ride share services and compare findings to younger adults (age 18 to 64). We conducted 96 telephone interviews (68 older adults and 28 younger adults), and 10 in-person focus groups (56 older adults and 17 younger adults), including individuals who used a ride share service and those who never used a ride share service. We conducted qualitative data analysis to identify key themes and developed a conceptual framework to organize and describe findings.


      The qualitative analysis revealed the most important facilitator of older adults’ use of ride share services was the desire to remain independent, particularly among those with health conditions and special needs that prevented them from using other transportation. Other facilitators included driver assistance (door-to-door service), a polite and courteous driver, a clean vehicle, and prompt and dependable service. Barriers among older adults included safety concerns, affordability, technology, and a lack of ride share services in the community. Among younger adults, technology was a facilitator of use.


      Ride share services are a promising transportation option. Findings highlight a need to tailor these services to older adults’ needs. Ride share services that are safe, reliable, and offer driver assistance and telephone scheduling have the potential to support older adults’ health, mobility, and independence.

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