How to prepare for the road ahead when driving is no longer an option

For all of us, there will come a time, whether due to age, illness or other impediment – that we’ll make the transition from driving to finding other means of transportion. To ease the transition, scope out your transportation options well before that day arrives.

Volunteer driving organizations. These groups can be found in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge and several rural communities across Alberta. They generally require you to book rides a few days in advance, and you’ll be travelling in volunteers’ own vehicles. To learn the ropes, consider offering your own services while you’re still behind the wheel. AMA covers the $25 cost of the Alberta Standard Driver Abstract required to volunteer.

Public transit. Start researching routes and connections – and, if possible – ride once a week, before you stop driving. Learn how to get to your doctor’s office, your community centre, and your grocery store. And look into discount fares and ticket options. Edmonton seniors can buy an annual pass for $125 ($64 for low-income seniors). In Lethbridge, seniors pay $28 for a monthly pass. Larger centres such as Edmonton and Calgary offer transit-training sessions for seniors, as well as special bus services for those with more serious mobility challenges.

Private transportation. Compile a list of local taxi companies, as well as private livery services, such as Driving Miss Daisy, a senior-oriented business with locations in Edmonton, Calgary and across southern and central Alberta.

Carpooling. Don’t rule out family and friends for transportation. Experiment now with ride sharing to get used to the routine and extra trip-planning time you’ll need to go places as a passenger.

Westworld is the award-winning magazine of the Alberta Motor Association. It offers a mix of travel features, auto trends and special member savings.