Louisiana must permit ride sharing across state, for seniors

We would like to commend the Louisiana Legislature for staying focused on our financial challenges and approving a plan in the most recent special legislative session. Even though it took several attempts, our public officials didn't give up, but pressed onward toward doing what was right for Louisiana. We were thrilled with that progress.

However, we were disappointed with our members failing to come together to support an agreement for the ride-sharing companies that our senior citizens have come to appreciate over the last several years. With 44 other states supporting a plan for these companies, there was absolutely no reason that Louisiana didn't approve the legislation.

At the present time, we have 670,500 senior citizens who are 65 and over across the state. Many of them depend on others for their transportation needs and, surprisingly, a large number depend on companies like Uber and Lyft to assist them.

Most of the time it takes a smart phone to hail a ride. Amazingly, the latest statistics from Pew research show 42 percent of our seniors are now using these devices. For those who don't have access to the technology, companies are set up across the country to assist helping seniors locate ride sharing transportation through a simple phone call. 

Many of our elders have health challenges and sometimes struggle to see at night, so we need to try and make their transportation needs easier to manage.

Now that seniors are getting more comfortable with technology, our legislature must look after the needs of our elders. Due to many physical and mental impairments, many of our seniors are using Uber and Lyft to travel to meet with a physician or family or to attend church or a ball game. With September being healthy aging month, it is extremely important for our seniors to be able to make their social connections and on many occasions, ride-sharing is their only option.    

Continue reading on The Shreveport Times.

Conwell Hooper is executive director of American Senior Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that advocates for senior citizens. Contact: [email protected]. 


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