How to Use Uber Without a Smart Phone and Use Uber with Vision Loss and Other Disabilities

How to Use Uber Without a Smart Phone and Use Uber with Vision Loss and Other Disabilities

A member of my family, J,  is legally blind and can’t drive. She can’t call an Uber or Lyft driver to get around, either, because driver services require passengers to use a smart phone to schedule rides and contact the driver with questions or problems via text. And she can’t see the text. We recently discovered the perfect way for people who don’t use a smart phone or who have vision loss or other disabilities to gain the freedom to go wherever they want using Uber or Lyft — with some human assistance from a handy service called GoGoGrandparent.

GoGoGrandparent (which works even if you’re not a grandparent!) is the brainchild of a man who formerly lived with and chauffeured his grandmother; he later moved away and discovered his grandma no longer went out. He invented the service to help her and others in the same situation.

The service is perfect for people who have permanent disabilities as well as temporary disabilities (broken leg/foot/ankle, vision issues after eye surgery, etc.).

You simply sign up for the service online at https://gogograndparent.com/at no cost and let them know what your situation is or call 1-855-464-6872 to register.

Getting where you want to go

When you want an Uber driver to take you somewhere, you simply call GoGoGrandparent’s main number and press 1.

An employee asks you for information about where you want to go and contacts an Uber driver.

Getting home

After the driver takes you to your destination and you’re ready to return home, you simply call the GoGoGrandparent main number again (the same one you called before) and press 2. The attendant asks if you’d like to return to the place you started the trip or if you’d like to go to another location.

If you want to go home, you say so, and an Uber driver arrives to take you home (they already know your address).

Going to several places

If you want to go a few more places, an Uber or Lyft driver takes you there and you call the main number to arrange for transportation each time.

Locating the driver after the initial pick-up

The tricky part of using Uber, in my opinion, is locating the driver who’s there to pick you up and take you home – especially if there are a lot of people and cars around.

In my experience, driving service cars are not marked with a U or Uber sign, and I don’t know makes and models of vehicles at all, so it’s hard to determine which car my driver is in if they simply tell me the driver is “James” and he’s in a certain type of make and model car. The driver photos they provide don’t help until you’ve found the car!

In my case, I text the driver and we find each other that way.

The GoGoGrandparent employee tells the rider the make and model of car as well as the first few numbers of the license plate, which might help some users walk up behind the car to see if it’s their ride — but that isn’t really useful to people with low vision or mobility issues.

Those riders can simply call the GoGoGrandparent main number and the person who answers the phone takes care of connecting the driver with the passenger (just tell them what color you’re wearing and exactly where you’re located).

Fee

The fee to use GoGoGrandparent is an affordable $.19 a mile, in addition to the regular Uber or Lyft fee, from the time they start monitoring a service to the time they stop.

Results

J used this service for the first time recently — the inaugural attempt to use a driver service to take her somewhere alone — and it worked well!

I think it’s a Godsend.

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