Lyft Q&A: The Plan to Reinvent Senior Living Transportation

Senior housing providers increasingly have been utilizing ride-hailing apps to expand residents’ transportation options, and one company in particular has been announcing new initiatives at a steady clip. The popular San Francisco-based ride-hailing company, Lyft, launched in 2012 and is now expanding in numerous directions — one being into senior living and care partnerships.

Some of the companies Lyft has partnered with in the last year include Sunshine Retirement, GreatCall and Detroit-based SPLT. But the list of organizations that recently have started working with Lyft to help with senior transport goes on, and on, and on.

Dan Trigub, strategic account executive of health care at Lyft, came to the company just five months ago with a unique background in handling senior care partnerships. He previously co-founded the San Francisco-based company OpenPlacement, which helps seniors find and compare senior living facilities online by partnering with key hospitals and large care provider networks. Think of OpenPlacement as the Trivago or Kayak of senior care.

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Trigub recently opened up to Senior Housing News about the broader strategy that Lyft is using in the senior housing space and how they are driving growth—pun intended—in this area.

SHN: How have you been able to use your knowledge from OpenPlacement to help the current Lyft partnerships?

TRIGUB: There is an established Lyft team of experts who have been working—and continue to work—in the health care space for quite some time now. On my side, my family has been operating a large senior home care agency in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. I have had the opportunity to see first-hand what the needs are of our aging population and the way they are currently being served.

SHN: Can you compare what it was like working on senior care partnerships in your previous position, at OpenPlacement, versus your position now at Lyft?

TRIGUB: There are a lot of similarities from my previous experience to my current role at Lyft.

In both roles, I’ve been able to create strong relationships and partner with decision makers at senior care communities, national home care providers, and senior living providers. These relationships have been valuable to the work we are doing at Lyft today.

In my prior work, we were trying to provide a solution to an outdated process which was primarily managed by fax machines, paper and pen. Fundamentally, the solution we have at Lyft is solving the same problem but doing so in a much more affordable, efficient and transparent way.

At Lyft we are trying to revolutionize how the senior care industry thinks about transportation and using technology to change these outdated processes. Before we were able to offer Lyft, a resident of a community would have to reserve a ride hours or weeks in advance and be limited to whatever system or transportation provider their community offered to them. Now, with the Lyft platform, residents can have an on-demand ride in two to four minutes.

SHN: What’s different between your prior role and this one?

TRIGUB: The biggest difference from my prior work to my role at Lyft now is that I was previously spending a lot of my time trying to scale and build a national network so that we could provide our service to anybody across the country. This was the classic problem of any marketplace platform, and I was always struggling with having enough supply to meet the demand of my customers.

Now at Lyft we already have this national network in place as we are in 250+ cities across the U.S. and growing. I can speak to a potential partner and feel confident that we can meet their demand and needs. It is a lot more rewarding to grow a business when you already have world-class technology and a network behind you!

SHN: Why did Lyft decide to dive into the senior care market now?

TRIGUB: Lyft has always been thinking about the senior care market, well before I joined the team five months ago. Lyft has been very committed to the health care vertical. Since joining, we have increased our focus specifically on elder care and been able to solve many of the transportation challenges for this industry.

The focus on this vertical aligns very well with our mission and core values at Lyft. We’re focused on reconnecting people and communities through better transportation. This is incredibly important for our aging population.

With the growth of the Lyft network and our technology platform, our elders can have more freedom than ever before, and Lyft wants to be a key enabler of this. Just the other day, I spent the day in an independent living community that is using Lyft for its residents. After speaking with a handful of residents that have used Lyft, it was evident to me the impact we are already having and can have for millions of elders across the U.S.

The community members that I spoke with shared how they went to the grocery store, the airport on their way to visit family, and even a trip to the local downtown to be a part of the community. The excitement was evident, how they could now have independence via a safe, reliable, affordable and convenient transportation option and experience that freedom they once had and cherished.

SHN: What’s the process at Lyft for creating partnerships with senior care and home care companies?

TRIGUB: The process at Lyft is very simple and straightforward.

We work together to build out custom solutions for each partner. Our Concierge tool is a key part of this. Concierge allows our partners to request a Lyft on behalf of their resident or client and not have to worry about them having a smartphone or having Lyft installed on their device. We let our partners know that they have a team of people and support around them that all focus exclusively on this industry. We also help educate their community members and let them know who Lyft is and all the things we do around safety, trust and reliability.

We understand that each and every partner has their unique needs and ways of doing business, and we want to make sure we fit into their current workflow as best as possible.

SHN: What kind of qualities does Lyft look for in potential partners?

TRIGUB: We look for [companies] who want to provide a better quality of life and service to the elders they serve. To us at Lyft, there is no question that we can help and not only save them significant costs when operating their business but provide a much better level of service and experience for those they serve.

SHN: Can you share some numbers on senior engagement with Lyft?

TRIGUB: Over the last five months, we have built dozens of partnerships with companies that directly serve our elder population and are giving tens of thousands of rides to our aging population every week. These numbers are continuing to grow, and we have a lot more significant partnerships that we will be announcing and activating in the months to come.

SHN: What’s next in terms of Lyft partnerships with senior care and home care companies?

TRIGUB: We are just getting started within elder mobility at Lyft, and there are a lot of exciting partnerships that are currently in development and many others that are to come.

Written by Alana Stramowski

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