The Importance of Getting Around: Health and Transportation

Some of the best things about church life involve being part of a faith community. Belonging is good for us because it provides a sense of purpose, social time, and it boosts health by reducing isolation and loneliness. When people have trouble getting to church – and other events or appointments – because they do not drive or have easy access to transportation, their health can suffer from lack of companionship or from missed appointments.

Carpools, Taxis or Ride Sharing Services

Carpooling with a neighbor or friend is one good solution to finding rides to church or appointments. The metro area has taxis and ride sharing services (Lyft or Uber); however, some of those drivers are not familiar with helping people with vision, hearing or mobility problems.

Options with Specially Trained Drivers

A new ride service with trained drivers, Mobility4All, is coming soon (expected to be this fall). This service will offer specially trained drivers that are “on call” like Uber or Lyft drivers.

Another option for rides, Metro Mobility, also has trained drivers. To use this service, you must first register with them and then you must schedule appointments by phone ahead of time. You need a form from a healthcare provider that indicates you have difficulty using a typical bus due to a health condition. A physician or registered nurse can complete the form for you and send it to Metro Mobility.

Services for Senior Citizens

While Mobility4All and Metro Mobility are available to people of any age, there are transportation services specifically for senior citizens. Lyngblomsten, Lutheran Social Services and Fairview all offer these services.  Lutheran Social Services also has volunteers that can drive/accompany seniors for errands or other appointments. More information is available from their websites or by phone. In addition, every county in the metro area offers some form of senior transportation.

Resources in your Area

One of the best ways to find out about transportation resources in your neighborhood is Minnesota United Way 2-1-1, which serves everyone. Dial “2-1-1” (from any phone) to call United Way 2-1-1 (formerly called First Call for Help). Or, if you are Medicare-eligible, dial 800-333-2433 for the Senior LinkAge Line. United Way 2-1-1 workers knows fees and schedules for all services in your area, and can help you find and book a ride. The 2-1-1 service is available 24/7.