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Toyota, AARP partner to make transportation easier for older adults in Washtenaw County

Program offering free rides to and from COVID vaccination clinics for adults 50+

AARP's Ride@50+ Program connects adults with local transportation options, making booking and paying for rides simple via its call center or mobile app.
AARP's Ride@50+ Program connects adults with local transportation options, making booking and paying for rides simple via its call center or mobile app. (AARP)

ANN ARBOR – AARP has expanded its AARP Ride@50+℠ Program to Washtenaw County with support from Toyota.

Developed by AARP Driver Safety, the program helps seniors access public and private transportation services in the area all in one place.

The program is also now offering free rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination clinics for Washtenaw County residents who call 1-800-466-1461 and use the code “Vaccinate Washtenaw.” Reservations for essential trips can be booked through the call center and the program’s website.

Free rides are limited and are given on a first come, first served basis. Riders must provide pick-up and drop-off points within Washtenaw County to qualify for free rides, which were made possible by an Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation grant.

“Technology is changing how we get around. However, many older adults aren’t familiar with how to use these newer technologies,” Kyle Rakow, vice president and national director of AARP Driver Safety said in a release.

“By arming older adults with knowledge and introducing this innovative and accessible transportation platform, we hope to make it easier for residents of Washtenaw to get around.”

By offering an online booking platform, mobile application and a call center, the AARP Ride@50+ Program aims to make reviewing, booking and paying for essential rides to the grocery, pharmacy or to medical appointments easier.

Pricing for rides depends on the transportation option selected and the length, and is clearly stated during the booking process before payment is made. All major credit cards are accepted, and both riders and transportation providers must agree to CDC and state COVID-19 safety recommendations prior to booking a ride.

AARP membership is not required to use the program, which is open to all ages but prioritizes individuals ages 50 and older, or those with limited mobility access.

Elsewhere, the program is operating in select counties in South Carolina and Texas.

“The AARP Ride@50+ Program offers a simple, affordable, and efficient solution to finding local transportation for people of all ages,” group vice president of Toyota Social Innovation Sean Suggs said in a release. “This program makes it easier to access critical services and helps people get to where they want to go, and that is what mobility is all about.”

For more information about the Ride@50+ Program, visit www.aarp.org/ridewashtenaw or call 1-800-466-1461.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.