Parker said it is getting harder for elderly people — especially those with significant others who may be around the same age — to get to medical appointments or hospitals. “It’s much easier to put him in a ride-share and for [his wife] to assist him,” he said.
As the population ages and the demand for healthcare rises, the future of medical transportation is in ride-sharing services, experts say. Such arrangements will be a topic of conversation at Bisnow’s National Healthcare West event June 7 at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Though there is a huge demand to develop medical facilities around public transportation stops, not enough healthcare providers are doing it yet, Parker said.
And living in car-centric Los Angeles, Parker said people still prefer using cars rather than public transportation, especially for a medical appointment or a minor procedure. “There’s an Orange [bus] line here that takes people all over the Valley but we’re not seeing any medical facilities being built around that line,” he said. “We haven’t seen that kind of development.” Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150B each year, according to several healthcare reports. The reasons for the no-shows vary — mostly from the patient side, such as forgotten appointments due to too much time between visits, a distrust of seeing a doctor, cost and other reasons.
But one of the single biggest reasons is lack of transportation.
Sometimes the last mile of a trip in an urban area is the most difficult. While trying to reach your destination after exiting public transit, options dwindle or become less convenient. Why hail and Uber or Lyft for just a mile? Walking may take too long or is unappealing because of the weather or other factors, and there aren’t any buses or traditional taxis nearby. It may be the point at which frustration sets in.
With the “last-mile” problem having vexed urban dwellers for decades, venture capitalists are seizing the opportunity to fund projects that could fill in gaps that public transit cannot meet. Bikesharing and electric scooters are two common methods used to help commuters snake through city streets when other options have been exhausted or are inconvenient.
Most drivers in D.C. likely are familiar with protected bike lanes, set apart from car traffic by bollards or curbs. But during this year’s bike-to-work week, cyclists tried another tactic to draw attention to areas where the region’s infrastructure isn’t doing a good job of keeping people on bikes safe — human-protected bike lanes.
Over the last several months a handful of startups have dropped hundreds or thousands of electric scooters on the sidewalks in cities like San Francisco, Austin, and San Diego, allowing anyone who downloads an app to unlock and ride them across town for a small fee. It’s a radical – and controversial – experiment in urban mobility. But scooters could be just the beginning.