HOUSTON – A ride-sharing service that caters to seniors has launched in the Houston area.

Envoy America markets itself as a companionship service with a transportation component.

In addition to taking passengers to their destination, drivers offer door-to-door service. They also help people run errands or wait with them at doctor’s appointments.

Envoy offers group trips as well.

“You know it’s very difficult for these folks to be left on a curb to fend for themselves. We never do that. We ensure they’re given the kind of care they’re really deserving of,” said Chuck Welnack, Houston Operations Director for Envoy America.

Because many seniors don’t have smartphones, customers book rides by phone. To make passengers feel more comfortable, the company is hiring “mature” drivers.

So far, they’ve accepted 20 drivers, most of whom are over 50 years old.

“We do a lot of trips with people with special needs, that are really sick. That level of compassion for those folks really goes a long way for their peace of mind and general well-being,” said Welnack.

Rather than charging based on distance like other popular ride-share companies, Envoy charges by the hour. Envoy America representatives say rides cost $40 an hour, while waiting at the destination is $20 an hour.

Passengers must be ambulatory to use the service.

To learn more about the ride-share service or apply for a job as a driver, click here.