Transportation Options for Seniors in Central Ohio

senior couple smiling at camera outside of a transportation bus for seniors

Dear Linda:

My aging parents live in the Columbus area. My mother was always a nervous driver in traffic, but lately it seems like my father is no longer confident in his driving ability either. Now that winter weather is here, I’m concerned that it is time for him to hang up the keys.

Because I live a little over two hours away in northwest Ohio, I don’t get to their house as often as I would like to. I know that if I talk with my Dad about giving up driving, his argument to me will be that they have no other means for transportation. Many of their friends have either moved away to be closer to their adult children or moved into assisted living communities where transportation is provided.

Do you know what local options for transportation there are that might work for my parents? I’d like to have a few suggestions for him when I initiate this conversation.


Columbus Area Transportation Providers

Dear Alysha

It sounds like your plan for beginning this conversation is a smart one. Knowing what options your parents have for getting to the grocery store, to physician appointments and other necessary destinations will likely make the talk go more smoothly.

From what you’ve described, it sounds as if your father may be ready to give up driving already.

Here are a few options to investigate in the Columbus area:

  • Private duty home care aides can help provide transportation. Most will give clients the option of using their private vehicle or riding with the aide in theirs (a mileage fee will usually be assessed for the last option). Your parents can cluster their stops to keep their costs down.
  • Ambulate services can be another solution, especially if one or both of your parents have mobility problems. These are different than ambulance companies which are used to transport people in emergency situations. Ambulates can be used to transport seniors to physician appointments, physical therapy appointments and more.
  • Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)is the public transit provider for Columbus and central Ohio. Your parents can even call to arrange trips to special locations not on COTA’s regular bus routes. Central Ohio adults over age 65 can obtain a Senior ID that will entitle them to half-price fares.
  • Uber Columbus and Taxi Services can also provide your parents with flexible, last minute transportation options. Apps like Taxi Finder can help you and your parents find local taxi service and estimate what the fares will be.

One last recommendation is to call the Central Ohio Agency on Aging. They may have other options that will meet your parents’ transportation needs.

I hope this information helps you and your parents better plan for this transition, Alysha.

Kind Regards,

Linda Nicholson, Social Services