FEATURED BUSINESS: Jewish Family Service and On the Go

JFFS logoIndividuals aged 60 years and older represent the fastest growing segment of San Diego County’s population, with the number of residents expected to more than double by 2030. Here in San Diego, there are more than 50,000 older adults for whom access to transportation is a daily concern.

As the loved one of someone who is no longer driving, you recognize the impact transportation has on quality of life.

But did you know?

Compared with those who still drive, older non-drivers make

  • 15% fewer visits to the doctor
  • 59% fewer outings to shopping and restaurants
  • 65% fewer trips to social, family, and religious activities


  • 60% of older non-drivers expect to depend on rides from friends and family when they can no longer drive

-Statistics courtesy of the American Public Transportation Association

We know that navigating transportation for an older adult can be challenging. Here, we offer answers to some frequently asked questions:

Q: My neighbor uses JFS’s On the Go. It sounds like they have great transportation options, but there’s just one problem: I’m not Jewish.

A: Jewish Family Service welcomes all San Diegans!

Through its award-winning program, On the Go: Transportation Solutions for Older Adults, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has been providing safe, reliable, and affordable transportation to San Diegans aged 60+, regardless of religious affiliation, since 2004. On the Go operates its transportation service without regard to race, color, and national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

Q: My mom has just been referred to a specialist and will be going to a medical center once per week. I worry about her waiting alone at a bus stop for a fixed route, but she doesn’t qualify for MTS Access. Do I have any other options?

A: Yes! On the Go’s Rides & Smiles® volunteer drivers can provide individual transportation to medical appointments, personal appointments, pharmacies, banks, and other necessary destinations. Rides are provided for a donation and must be reserved at least one week in advance.

Feel good knowing that Rides & Smiles® is the largest volunteer-based transportation service in San Diego County—providing more than 2,300 rides each month. All our friendly volunteer drivers have been screened, trained, insured and are accustomed to working with seniors. Some are even older adults themselves.

Q: I was called into work at the last minute, so my grandmother took Uber to her weekly social group. She said the route seemed odd and it took double the time than when I drive her. I like the flexibility and low-cost of ride sharing services, but I’m just not sure I can trust them.

A: You’re not the first person to express this concern. In fact, a new program called On the Go Navigator was launched earlier this year to ensure older adults can easily access on-demand transportation through companies such as Lyft and Uber while enjoying an added level of security. Our On the Go team schedules the ride with Lyft or Uber, then monitors the ride from start to finish, communicating with the driver when needed. Rides can be scheduled with as little as one-hour notice and up to seven days in advance.

Q: I’m active with a local nonprofit organization that plans educational day-trips for seniors, but I’ve just learned the nonprofit may cancel the program because the cost of busing and insurance are too steep.

A: The good news is that JFS has several shuttle options for your group:

Community Partners Shuttles is a great solution for organizations serving older adults ages 60+ and can provide groups of 10 or more with comfortable and safe transportation to and from their next adventure. On the Go Silver accommodates large groups for customized outings with superior comfort and service.

We hope your nonprofit’s excursion’s keep going strong! Keep in mind, though, that On the Go also offers its own group day-trip program. On the Go Excursions provide organized outings to destinations and events across the region including museums, historic sites, theaters, concerts, winery tours, festivals, and health fairs. Upcoming excursions include Guys & Dolls at the Old Globe, a Tall Ships Spectator Cruise during the Festival of Sail, an annual Polynesian-style luau at JFS’s College Avenue Center, and more.

Ready to get started?

Request a Ride (858) 637-7320

Online: www.jfssd.org/onthego