CarPal Community Rideshare; Mobility Club

by convenor on 14/08/2017

So HillsCarPal give Rides. That’s obvious. But lots of organizations give Rides these days: buses, taxis and not to forget, Uber and marvellous Community Transport organisations that function around the nation. If you’re a Senior covered by My Aged Care, lots of people are now offering to come to your door, pick you up and take you wherever you want to go.



What makes a CarPal Community Rideshare Ride different? Lots of things, it turns out, but let’s focus on two in particular:

  • Our level of service — Community Rideshare, in particular HillsCarPal are designed with Seniors in mind. There are no limits on the nature of a proposed Ride eg social, medical, shopping etc and we travel anywhere in Sydney our drivers frequent. We offer your companions a Ride too at no additional cost. Our drivers provide turn up on time, including on weekends, nights and Public Holidays. They always ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers, including providing assistance with walkers. And our members notice the difference by praising their drivers and negative feedback is rare. Our staff and volunteers are courteous, punctual and caring, and it’s not uncommon for Riders and drivers to develop close friendships. CarPal Riders usually sit in the front seat rather than the back. Rides feel more like a trip with a friend than a taxi service. Our drivers are motivated to serve their local communities, to make a difference and to give back. Their passion and dedication show in everything they do.

  • Our payment innovations — CarPal accept payment for Rides only after we provide a detailed invoice at the end of each month with plenty of time to pay. We do not want you to have the hassle of having to have the right money on Ride-day. And payment can be done over the phone or online, if you wish. We know budgeting can be difficult, so we came up with a flat fee for each Ride regardless of the distance travelled.


Then there’s having to estimate the distance involved to assess if the Ride will be affordable. You know up front what you are up for. And, if you’d like, we’d be happy to help you to transform the vehicle sitting in your driveway into “miles” in the passenger seat so that future Ride costs are covered.

And when CarPal Community Rideshare services operate across New South Wales, we envisage the following scenario:

Have a friend or family member in another town who wants to support you getting from place to place? They can drive for their local CarPal Community Rideshare and share their credits across the network, exchanging their driving in one place into Rides for you in another.


We have come up with as many options as we could to ensure a safe transition from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat for seniors. Because mobility shouldn’t end with the ability to drive.


Those are the big things, but a bunch of little things makes CarPal Community Ride share different too. Things like:

  • Inexpensive Rides — As a non-profit[*] using volunteers we keep costs down. Short Rides might work out similar to a taxi service, but as the miles rack up the difference grows.
  • Cash-free transactions — No money changes hands over the course of a trip. Just get in and go.
  • Set rates — There is no surge pricing during busy periods with CarPal. Rates are set and clearly laid out.
  • No tipping — Drivers are not allowed to accept tips for Rides or offering assistance. It’s just what we do.
  • Non-profit structure — There is no push for profits with CarPal Community Rideshare Rides either.
  • Community support — We seek donations and sponsorships to help us keep down the cost of a Ride to you.
  • Personal — Human beings answer the phone to schedule your Ride.

Riding with CarPal Community Rideshare is less like using a transportation service and more like being part of a mobility club.


So that’s now but what of the future?


We will continue to innovate as we grow and multiply. One of the innovations we are looking forward to implementing is to give membership to our volunteers so that they can prepare for their own post-car years by giving Rides today in a pay-it-forward model of Community Ridesharing.

It’s the least a community can do for the wonderful volunteers who operate CarPal Community Rideshare.

All my best,








[*] HillsCarPal is the Seniors Transportation service of The Hills Community Aid & Information Service Inc.

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