As a recipient of the FTA’s FY 2019 Access & Mobility Partnerships grant program, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) launched an on-demand pilot program that provides free rides to people seeking services for substance abuse in rural communities in northern Vermont. To develop the pilot, titled “Recovery and Job Access Rides“, the agency collaborated with the Vermont Agency of Human Services and the Vermont Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs.
VTrans received $170,000 from the FTA for this program, the majority of which is allocated to cover operating costs for services not covered by Medicaid and/or Elders and Persons with Disabilities program funds. VTrans is working with recovery centers, local businesses, state government and other stakeholders to generate local contributions to meet the required 50% match of federal funds.
Trips are provided by Rural Community Transportation, Inc. (RTC), and customers can request rides to services including support groups and meetings, recovery centers, drug testing sites, medical appointments, and job trainings, interviews and initial commutes.
The three recovery centers located in Northeast Kingdom and Lamoille county logged 700 rides being taken to their locations through the pilot between September and December 2019. Service to a fourth recovery center in Rutland began in January 2020. RTC is a Medicaid-approved transportation provide that also provides transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities in the community.