Nonprofit Launches Volunteer Rides Program for Older Adults, Wilson County, TN, 2021
5 minutes Date Launched: May 1, 2021 Dates given are approximate.
Credit: Komkrit Noenpoempisut/Noun Project
Wilson Rides, a new nonprofit agency based in Wilson County, Tennessee, is launching a volunteer ridehailing program serving people ages 55 and over. Like a transportation network company (TNC), Wilson Rides will operate by matching program-eligible passengers with drivers, who are volunteers operating their own vehicles. Upon beginning operations, Wilson Rides hopes to have 50 drivers participate as volunteers. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age, have had a driver’s license for at least five years, and must undergo a background check, motor vehicle report, and orientation and training program. Riders receive their services through a membership program, which involves a $49 signup fee, a $25 annual fee, and $6 for a round trip. The signup fee covers the cost for the first year of membership and four round trip rides. Upon signing up, members also receive a home visit so that Wilson Rides can determine their accessibility needs. Members must request rides at least a week ahead of time and are matched with their volunteer driver through an online portal system. Rides must have an origin and destination within Wilson County.
As Wilson County only has an AllTransit Score of 0.4/10, mobility options are highly limited for older adults and people with disabilities. Wilson Rides can help individuals access important resources at a relatively low cost. In the future, it will be important to observe how Wilson Rides or similar programs develop in Wilson County so that such a program can operate on a larger scale.