Affordable transportation is a critical tool for aging with dignity, staying active in the community, and maintaining independence. Yet, as life expectancy increases, many older adults eventually lose the ability to navigate their surroundings by automobile. According to the American Public Transportation Association, “Compared with those who still drive, older non-drivers make 15% fewer trips to the doctor, 59% fewer shopping trips and visits to restaurants, and 65% fewer trips for social, family, and religious activities.” For too many older adults, decreased mobility means greater social isolation, a predictor of poorer health and a diminished quality of life. According to the Administration for Community Living, “Isolation and loneliness are known to be associated with higher risks of chronic disease, heart disease, depression, and anxiety, even dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
Recognizing the need for more affordable and accessible transportation options to enable older adults to stay active and connected to their communities, CARS established On the Go in 2006. The program, which is operated in partnership with Jewish Family Service of San Diego, offers comprehensive transportation solutions – including individual rides, group shuttles, and excursions – to older adults throughout San Diego County. Each month, On the Go provides San Diego seniors with more than 2,300 rides to needed medical appointments, personal errands, religious and cultural events, social destinations, and more. The program has completed over 400,000 rides and continues to broaden the scope of its services to encourage greater independence and social connection among the region’s growing population of older adults. On the Go addresses transportation barriers with a passenger-centered approach that enables seniors across San Diego County to access services when and where they need them with personalized door-through-door assistance.