If you are an older adult or an adult with a disability, getting around San Francisco can be challenging. In addition to the physical barriers of transit such as limited seating, long walks between stops, complicated transfers, and inaccessible stations and stops, the costs of moving from place to place can also pose financial barriers.
As they navigate daily activity, many older adults and adults with disabilities are faced with limited options and difficult choices. Should I go to see my doctor today or should I wait? How am I going to manage bags of groceries on the bus?
To connect low-income older adults and adults with disabilities in San Francisco with free or low-cost transportation options, Community Living Campaign launched a first-of-its-kind partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). By paying the $12/month rider contribution of SFMTA’s new low-cost taxi program (Essential Trip Card), CLC has been able to offer FREE taxi rides to seniors and people with disabilities. The program has grown to include subsidies for Paratransit taxi and van users.
The Essential Trip Card Subsidy Program is working.
Since the it began in 2020, CLC has awarded 1207 subsidies to 183 residents, giving them free rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, and other vital services.
- 94% of the program participants are over 60
- 59% report having a disability
To date, ALL of the program participants have used trips to access health services. In fact, 58% reported that health care services were their most frequent trip designation. 97% reported that the free trips helped them to access healthy food. 91% said that the program helped them interact with others more often, especially to stay connected with family and friends.
The bottom line is that the subsidies are leading to better health outcomes through free and reliable transportation options. In addition, program participants also report experiencing less isolation and loneliness.
What participants are saying?
“[The program] helped ease the expense of visiting my husband in a nursing home located across the city…”
“[Without Essential Trip Card Program] it will be hard for me to get my groceries in one trip.”
“[It] helped me keep in touch with friends who were physically unable to leave residence/care facilities, enabling me to visit them easily.”
“The financial support provides a stable and trusted amount every month. It’s one less thing to worry about…and makes a difference in my finances.”
“There is not much left over in my budget for things like taxis. This…makes a huge difference in my life.”