In Flanders (Belgium), the peer-to-peer network Taxistop enables cheap transportation for people with reduced mobility, mainly elderly people. The service is carried out by voluntary drivers who are mainly elderly people too. Elderly-for-elderly.
Taxistop serves 30.000 members with an average age of 80. They are not disabled and cannot use services for disabled people. Due to their age they find it difficult to use public transport and cannot ride their bike anymore. This transport service is a perfect way to prevent many cases of social isolation. The service is also limited to people with a monthly income that is not higher than twice the average living wage in Belgium. Richer people can afford a regular taxi.
Elderly people who want to visit a friend or run an errand can contact a local dispatching point and ask a ride from one of the three thousand volunteers, retired drivers. The local dispatchers know the names and faces of the members and the drivers. This highly personal service is the appropriate technology for this group, who don’t use apps or social media.
Taxistop is locally organized but offers services nationwide. The organization works together with the local social service or municipality. The system is not subsidized, Taxistop is a not-for-profit organization. Members pay an annual membership plus a fixed compensation to the driver, which also includes insurance. Drivers do not make a profit, their motivation is to help other people while driving