The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) has expanded the service area for CARTA OnDemand, a first-in-the-region partnership with transportation network companies Uber and UZURV.
The expanded program now offers same-day, door-to-door service for seniors age 55 and up and current Tel-A-Ride customers throughout the designated CARTA service area to and/or from specified healthcare facilities in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and on the Peninsula.
“The expansion of CARTA OnDemand means one thing for seniors: access to healthcare on demand,” said CARTA Board of Directors Chairman Mike Seekings. “Since the pilot program debuted earlier this year, we have received many requests from seniors outside of the Peninsula. We’re excited to roll out this expanded service so whether you live near the Medical Center in North Charleston or reside on the Peninsula – you will now have access to transit on demand for essential trips to and from your healthcare providers.”
The newly enhanced service increases healthcare access for seniors by adding an additional 10 hours of operations per week, now operating from 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trips with both UZURV and Uber cost $4 each way and rides can be scheduled as much as 30 days in advance or with as little as 1-hour notice.
“Transportation continues to be one of the top issues facing seniors throughout South Carolina,” said S.C. Representative Mark Smith. “As more and more members of our senior community continue to ‘age in place’ in their own residences or with their families, transportation and many other wrap-around services will be a very important factor to achieving an enhanced quality of life for seniors, their families and caregivers.”
Registration for CARTA OnDemand is open for anyone 55 and older at RideCARTA.com/OnDemand or in person at the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, 5790 Casper Padgett Way in North Charleston. Current Tel-A-Ride customers are pre-qualified for the program. Find the list of eligible healthcare here and the Tel-A-Ride service application is available here.
CARTA OnDemand is offered in addition to the existing Tel-A-Ride paratransit service to provide more options and greater flexibility to customers to access healthcare. Riders in need of wheelchair accessibility will be required to use UZURV in order to access CARTA OnDemand and must request a ride through the CARTA OnDemand customer service center at 843-592-3505. As part of its door-to-door offering, UZURV’s credentialed and certified drivers are able to assist riders to and from vehicles upon request.
“UZURV is grateful for the opportunity to help provide increased access to specified medical centers to the CARTA community, so that eligible riders gain access to the medical care they need to live happier and healthier lives,” said UZURV CEO John Donlon.
Uber is app based, requires a voucher and a smart device to use the service and provides the convenience of service within minutes. Seniors will receive their voucher upon approval and Tel-A-Ride customers will need to request their voucher by emailing email@example.com or calling 843-529-6284.
“Whether it’s helping seniors regain their independence or providing newfound mobility options to those living in underserved areas, Uber has changed the way people live their lives in many unexpected ways,” said Javier Correoso, Senior Manager for Public Affairs, Uber.
Registered seniors and Tel-A-Ride customers can schedule rides as much as 30 days in advance or with as little as 1-hour notice and will often receive service within minutes through the Uber app or by calling the CARTA OnDemand call center powered by UZURV at 843-592-3505. Cash is not accepted for the service; a debit or credit card is required.
Under the program, CARTA will subsidize the difference between the $4 rider fare and the total trip cost, up to $21. Customers will be responsible for any cost beyond the $21 value of the subsidy. When using Uber, the total cost of the trip will be provided before the trip is taken and when using UZURV, a customer service representative will confirm if the trip is eligible and supply the total cost of the ride in advance as well. Tips are not included in the price of the ride and are given at the customer’s discretion.
Personal care attendants can be approved as part of the Tel-A-Ride application. If approved, PCAs would be part of the ride request and will not be charged.
Masks are required while using CARTA OnDemand.
For full details regarding the expanded CARTA OnDemand program, visit RideCARTA.com/OnDemand.
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