Need a Ride for Mom?

Need a Ride for Mom?

For older adults, finding safe, convenient and accessible transportation is often a challenge. A new website, AZRideInfo.com, is a one-stop shop for transportation resources to increase the access older adults and people with disabilities need to fully and meaningfully engage in their communities.

The collaborative effort brings together statewide resources from transportation providers, social service organizations, nonprofits and community groups, and includes a transportation “finder” tool to meet specific needs. The website was developed by mobility managers who work with customers to create transportation options that are most responsive to needs in their community. Mobility managers statewide worked together to develop the inventory and functionality of the website.

“This is a great website for rural Arizona residents who need to figure out how they can get around. In Northern Arizona, we get a lot of seniors visiting in the summertime from out of the region and they now have the tools to access our region’s transportation network. For those without access to the internet, I can see them utilizing our local libraries to access this site and its range of transportation options,” says Pinetop-Lakeside Vice Mayor Jerry Smith. 

The website is patterned after a concept first developed by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) for the Maricopa County region. The regional azmag.gov/connect-a-ride tool has been well received, garnering more than 600 web visits last year. AZRideInfo was created in response to stakeholder requests and is the first centralized database for human services transportation in the state.

“One advantage of the online format is that it can be accessed from any location, meaning that children can help their older parents access transportation even if they are out of state,” says MAG Regional Council Chair Jerry Weiers. “The site includes services that range from volunteer driver programs to regular paid taxi or rideshare services.”

Depending on locality or need, not every area has every type of service, but the tool is helping human services transportation providers identify where gaps exist and the types of services that are in greatest demand. Transportation providers that want to be added to the list can submit a request to be included.

The site was created through a grant from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The grant also is funding other innovative transportation programs, such as the Rural Transportation Incubator.