Imagine having trouble driving as you get older. The joints in your wrists hurt and it’s hard to turn the steering wheel. This can be dangerous since it can lead to more car accidents. What if there was a membership service that you can use to get around town without having to worry about driving? The JET Express program is a new service in South Florida that allows seniors to get transportation for cheap.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What is the JET Express program?
A new driver volunteer program has opened in Broward County in South Florida. The new program called the JET Express is helping seniors get from point A to point B. Creators of the program recognize the importance of helping older adults remain independent and active. This is why they wanted to connect them with local volunteers with safe and reliable transportation. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Who started JET Express?
The Goodman Jewish Family Services (JFS) of Broward County started the JET Express program. According to their history, JFS has been a primary supporter for aging Holocaust survivors for the last 25 years. However, they have also become home to the second largest population of seniors in the country, regardless of race, religion, ethnic background and sexual orientation.
Their efforts to expand to meet the increasing social service needs of the growing population in South Florida caught the attention of NBC 6 South Florida, who provided partial funding for JFS through their Project Innovation grant challenge.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What are the qualifications?
In order to be able to ride with JET Express, the person must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 60 years of age or older
- Must not have any available means of transportation
- Cannot be wheelchair bound, unless they can get into the car and put their wheelchair in the trunk
How the JET Express works
If you meet the three qualifications above, then you can become a member! However, you have to pay for a membership and the following rules apply:
- An annual membership costs $100
- Members get 60 potential round-trip rides
- Rides have to be scheduled five business days in advance
- Rides are available Mon-Fri from 8AM-5PM
- There is a 30-mile round-trip limit per trip
- If you want to cancel a ride, you have to give 48 hours notice in advance
Senior driving statistics
The most recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were almost 42 million licensed drivers ages 65 and older in 2016. This is a 56 percent increase from 1999. Also in 2016, 7,400 adults ages 65 and older were killed in motor vehicle crashes. More than 290,000 were treated in emergency departments for motor vehicle crash injuries.
As baby boomers get older, there will be an increase in the number of licensed older drivers in the United States. The JET Express seeks to expand their services to the growing needs of the South Florida population.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
The risks of driving with age
The risk of being injured or killed in a traffic collision increases as we age. This is because our muscles get weaker and our flexibility is not as good as we get older. Arthritis and inflammation in our joints make it painful to twist or turn our wrists and arms when driving. Not to mention, our eyesight is not as optimal as it once was. These health issues can interfere with safe driving, which is why it’s better to have someone drive us around safely.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Want to become a JET Express member?
If you want to become a JET Express member, use the contact information below for an enrollment packet.
Name: Pamela Carre, Director of Volunteer Programs
Email: [email protected][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Want to become a JET Express volunteer?
By becoming a volunteer, you can help a senior get around town and maintain their happiness. You can also add to each other’s happiness by developing a friendship. Click here to find volunteer opportunities with JFS.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]