Have you ever received a ride request from GoGoGrandparent? You may have wondered what it was about or how your ride might be different. It turns out, GoGoGrandparent is just another way for passengers to get around, linking passengers (usually elderly) without smartphones to transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber or Lyft. RSG contributor Paula Gibbins explains how GoGo works for passengers and what drivers can expect when they get a request from GoGo.
GoGoGrandparent is a company that works with TNCs like Uber and Lyft to provide rides to people who do not own or do not want to own a smartphone, which is required to order a Lyft or Uber. In this article, I will go over what GoGoGrandparent is and what they do along with what the request looks like for drivers.
What is GoGoGrandparent?
According to their website, “GoGoGrandparent allows older adults to utilize on demand transportation companies like Lyft while keeping family and loved ones notified.”
The basic concept is that you register with GoGoGrandparent and then when you’re ready to book a ride you follow these steps:
Call 1-855-464-6872 and wait to hear “Thanks for calling GoGoGrandparent”
Press 1 for a car to your home
Press 2 for a car to where we dropped you off last
Press 3, 4 or 5 for a car to a custom pick up location (once you’re registered, please give them a call to set these up)
Press 6 to order a ride with an operator
Press 0 to speak with an operator about anything else
From there, GoGoGrandparents picks up the slack and does all the work for you. They contact the TNC business in the language required through smartphones to book the ride.
The cost is a fixed rate of $0.27 per minute on top of whatever the Uber or Lyft fee is for the trip. If for some reason the driver cancels the trip, it is automatically rerouted to another driver. To learn more about GoGoGrandparent, feel free to visit their FAQs page.
Just because you don’t have a smart phone doesn’t mean your family shouldn’t be notified that you are safely on your way, or have safely arrived.
GoGoGrandparent is available in all 50 states, although total pricing depends on where you are going and how much Uber/Lyft rates are in your city. Passengers can find out how much and where GoGoGrandparent is available on their service page.
You can learn more about how GoGoGrandparent works for passengers below:
When you sign up online or by phone (1-855-464-6872), you’ll go through the basics of supplying your name and contact information. According to the registration page, “Signing up is free. We mail a detailed user manual, with a business card to all new accounts. You will only be charged for services that you order.”
While signing up there’s also a spot to put any additional instructions for your driver such as a code to get through a gated community or other items like that. And, there’s an Additional Information section that looks like this:
This way, your driver is fully prepared to make your experience as smooth as possible.
The next step gives you the option to provide a family contact. This is only necessary if there’s someone that you want to receive updates with each of your rides such as when you’re picked up and dropped off. This would also provide this person with the name of your driver as well as their license plate number and a way to contact them.
Finally, you’re taken to the payment page where you’ll enter the card information for GoGoGrandparent to keep on file and allow them to order rides on your behalf. You’re ready to go!
What is GoGoGrandparent Like for Drivers?
Below I’ll go through a combination of a few driver’s experiences with GoGoGrandparent.
When you get the request, instead of a rider’s name, you’ll see “GoGoGrandparent” or just “GoGo” in its place. It may look a little something like this:
Some drivers may consider it inconvenient to pick up these ride requests because the people are usually older or disabled in some way and will take longer to get into and out of the vehicle and may need extra help. However, the drivers I talked with looked at it a different way.
RSG reader Matthew says, “No, it’s never inconvenient. If anything, I make an extra effort to help my passenger, which I’m very happy to do. I pride myself on providing consistent service and I would never treat a disabled or elderly person differently in any way.”
As far as what the ride looks like, there’s one other difference you’ll notice with these ride requests. As soon as you accept it, you’ll receive a text from GoGoGrandparent with any information you may need in order to get in touch with the passenger (if they are not at the location specified, etc.) or if they have any special needs or requests you’ll need to keep in mind. Here’s what that looks like:
And another example from a driver in Fresno:
The only truly inconvenient part of this is that it’s difficult to safely read these instructions until you’re pulled off to the side of the road or until you’re at your pickup location. However, most smart phones can read your latest texts aloud to you so you wouldn’t have to look at your phone to get this information.
If you live near someone with disabilities, you may get their GoGoGrandparent request more than once, such as this driver’s experience:
“Interestingly, there is an older couple who are both totally blind who live near me that I will give a ride to quite often. They seem to have adapted very nicely and the requests come straight through the Lyft app. I do have to get out of the car and assist them sometimes; most recently, outside a local restaurant where the curb was very high. And they both needed coaching and a hand hold to use their red-tipped canes to navigate the large drop off to the street.”
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How Often Can I Expect These Trips and What Do I Get Out of Them?
They don’t happen terribly frequently from what I’ve heard. One driver said maybe once a month (in the San Antonio, Texas area), another estimated one or two a month (in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area), and a third reported about the same, one a month for the past 10 months. Depending on where you live, you may see these requests more or less frequently.
The passengers using GoGoGrandparent are encouraged to tip in cash because they aren’t doing anything directly through the app. The Minneapolis/St. Paul driver estimated he gets a cash tip from 1 out of every 3 GoGoGrandparent rides he gives.
The biggest thing that one driver pointed out was that “[GoGoGrandparents] are always adamant that the driver ends the ride exactly where the drop off occurs so [they] can dispatch the return driver to this same location.” Logistically this makes a lot of sense, so as a driver, if you have a GoGoGrandparent request, try to abide by this as best you can.
What About Uber Assist and Other Programs?
Uber does have an Assistance option for passengers with various disabilities or limitations. The big difference between Uber and GoGo is that you do still require a smart phone for using Uber. On their website, Uber breaks down the variables that are managed within their Uber Assistance program. Some include riders who are blind or have low vision, service animals, riders who are deaf or hard of hearing and those with mobility disabilities. According to a blog article Uber posted in 2015, the UberASSIST option is the same price as an UberX ride.
Another program to consider is Smart Ride. This is very similar to the GoGoGrandparent setup and allows you to set up an account with a $5 per month fee, with no additional charges. This would be ideal for people who would want to use this service on a regular basis. Of course, just like with GoGo, this fee does not include the actual cost of the ride you’ll be receiving through Uber or Lyft.
Another difference is that Smart Ride looks like it’s currently only available through Uber, not Lyft. With that in mind, Smart Ride is available everywhere that Uber is available. With Smart Ride, your first month is free, so you’re able to try out the service and see if it’s right for you before purchasing a monthly subscription.
This is a great idea for a business to help fill a gap in the market. I personally know several people who refuse to have smart phones but may still need extra assistance getting around. Your regular ride isn’t available 100% of the time when you need them, so this makes for a great backup option. To be able to make a phone call, on a regular phone, and get a driver sent to your door, that’s huge and super easy.
Will it take a little more effort on a driver’s part? Sure. But even without GoGoGrandparent, I’ve had a few passengers that need a little extra help in or out of the car or who take a little longer than the “norm” to get situated and ready to go. In my mind, a trip is a trip and a passenger is a passenger. It’s my job to get them from Point A to Point B.
Readers, have you ever had a GoGoGrandparent ride? What did you think of the experience?
-Paula @ RSG