In September 2016, the Flint, Michigan Mass Transit Authority launched its “Rides to Wellness” program, which provides non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) to residents in the Flint and larger Genesee County area. The program built on a 2015 FTA-funded Healthcare Access Mobility Design Challenge Grant, and then received an additional $300,000 in federal funds through the FTA’s Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility grants issued in December 2017.
The program provides on-demand transportation to eligible residents to their medical appointments, and it also often permits additional stops at pharmacies or grocery stores to fill prescriptions. The service operates from 8am to 5pm weekdays, and drivers are sourced from a number of partnering organizations, including: the Genesee County Department of Veterans Services, the Genesee Health Plan, the American Cancer Society, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Trips to any of the designated 6 local medical offices cost $85 round trip per person, and rides can be requested on-demand by calling the centralized call center. Rides are free if you are a customer connected with one of the partnering organizations.
The program began with access to just 5 vehicles in 2016, and had over 50 by the end of 2018. Similarly, participation in the program rose 69% from August 2017 to August 2018. Customers are told that they can anticipate same-day requests for trips to be fulfilled within 30-minutes.