I am thinking about giving up my car keys. Although my family and neighbors will help me get around, I really don’t want to give up my independence. What are your thoughts on this?
Before we look at your options for getting around without a car, let’s look at what your car is costing you. According to Nerd Wallet (www.nerdwallet.com), the average owner of a medium size sedan who drives 15,000 miles each year can expect to pay an average of $286 a month for insurance, maintenance, taxes, licenses and tags. This figure does not include purchase cost of a car, financing or depreciation. Giving up your car will free up a portion of your budget so you afford to hire transportation whenever you need it.
One of the first options to look into is LakeTran. LakeTran offers a number of specialty transportation services for older Lake County residents. For anyone with a Medicare Card or Golden Buckeye Card, fares are discounted and begin at 75 cents for Local Routes.
LakeTran also offers Dial-a-Ride at discounts for Medicare and Golden Buckeye Card holders. With Dial-a-Ride, you reserve your trip in advance for door-to-door, assisted transportation to any destination throughout Lake County or to limited medical facilities in Cleveland. Fares are reasonable, beginning with $2.50 for a ride within Lake County, and $5.00 a ride to a limited number of Cuyahoga County Medical facilities.
All veterans of the United States Armed Forces may ride Laketran free of charge to the VA office in Painesville, Veteran’s Administration Hospital in University Circle, Veteran’s Clinic in Painesville and any other medical appointment.
Other LakeTran fare discounts are offered through a number of city programs and can be found on their website at www.LakeTran.com
Another option for independent transportation is Uber. An increasing number of seniors are relying on Uber to get where they want to go when they want to go without having to rely on family members or friends. Uber generally costs less than a taxi. Because rides are paid in advance through an account on your IPAD or smart phone app, you have no need to carry cash to pay for your ride.
For those who require a little help to get into and out of the car or need assistance with a wheelchair or other device, there’s Uber ASSIST. With Uber ASSIST you get a specially trained driver who can help with transfers and is trained to handle your medical device.
Giving up your car does not necessarily mean you have to give up your independence. In fact, you may find that you prefer leaving the driving to someone else once you give it a try.