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Uber without a Smartphone

As our parents age, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining their “mobility.” You know what I mean: doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, attending lunches with friends. As someone who has a parent (the famed Frieda) that no longer drives, I understand the challenge—who is going to drive them to all their appointments and social events?

If you’re one of the designated drivers, it can really cut into your own time, and eventually can become a burden.

Don’t you just want to say to your parent, “Can’t you just call Uber?”

Well, most folks who no longer drive also do not have smartphones. Which means, they cannot take advantage of Uber or Lyft. Wouldn’t it be great if someone would invent a way to use Uber or Lyft without a smartphone?

Well, someone did.

Enter “GoGoGrandparent,” created by Justin Boogaard. It turns out that Justin was living with his grandmother and she noticed him Ubering everywhere. She asked him how she could use it. Without a smartphone and the ability to download the app, he said she couldn’t. She challenged him: create a company that would allow her to use Uber!

And so he did!

You can read more of the details at TechCrunch.

And how did we hear about it? I have written many times about what a voracious reader my 93-year-old mother is. Well, in reading one of her many magazines, she came across an article on GoGoGrandparent. She clipped the article and shared it with my sister, Jackie. I think Jackie got so excited that she immediately did her own research and within a few hours had my mom signed up!


The service is amazingly intuitive. When you register, you provide your home address (so it knows where to pick you up). When you get a ride to a destination, it remembers where you went so it knows where to pick you up when you’re finished. And the most brilliant part—it notifies a family member of every step of the way, via text message. Here’s a sample:


Thank goodness Justin lived with his grandmother. They say necessity is the mother (or in this case, grandmother) of invention.

And now you know!


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