Talk about a lift for those who need it the most.
On Tuesday, Lyft announced that it has partnered with the National Medtrans Network in New York City to give senior citizens rides to non-emergency medical appointments through the ride-sharing app. Lyft says the pilot program will be giving 2,500 such rides per week in the Big Apple alone.
In doing so, Lyft is seemingly helping with two problems: the company reports that, in the United States, about 3.6 million Americans per year miss or delay medical appointments because they don't have adequate transportation to make them. The issue affects New York City the most, considering that upwards of 50 percent of its households are car-free. Lyft's program should help more seniors make their doctor appointments.
The second problem Lyft's program resolves is that more than 25 percent of seniors in America don't own smartphones, and the company is allowing Lyft partners to use Concierge, a third-party Internet-request product, to request rides for those people. So, somebody could make a request on behalf of a senior.
"Working with Lyft, we're helping patients live healthier lives by providing reliable, enjoyable rides to their appointments," Billy McKee, president of the National Medtrans Network, said in a Lyft blog post about the announcement Tuesday. "Using transportation as a service like this, the health plans and government agencies we partner with are significantly reducing fraud, saving costs, and improving the patient experience. We provide over 25,000 livery trips per week in NYC, and our goal is to push all of those through Lyft."