The lack of accessibility to transportation in rural areas leads to social isolation amongst frail elderly people, who become dependent on external help in order to continue with their everyday lives. This situation can result in depression, loneliness or apathy.
In order to solve this problem and prevent this isolation, we have created STEP. STEP is a transportation service that connects the elderly with local activities in their area (sports, theater, shopping, etc.) and offers them a round trip from their homes. STEP contacts activities taking place in the local area, and organizes them into a weekly schedule. This schedule is distributed with the local newspaper, along with simple planning tools to assist with managing the elderly’s everyday activities.The day of the activity, a bus picks them up at home and takes them to the activity, and brings them back home afterwards.
Every week, the elderly have to sign up for the activities they want to participate in, so STEP can create a route that the bus driver has to follow in order to pick up all the participants in time. Taking into account different levels of technological skill, different channels would be offered to facilitate sign up (phone call, app, website).
By providing this service, STEP will prevent the elderly from social isolation caused by the lack of accessibility to public transportation in their everyday lives.