The Volunteer Transportation Center (VTC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer transportation organization (VTO) based in Watertown, New York. The organization has been operating for 25 years, and serves rural residents of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties in Northern New York. The VTC is designed to provide transportation for people who normally wouldn’t have access to necessities like medical appointments and grocery stores. The VTC uses a volunteer driver reimbursement model to provide up to 600 trips per day and over 130,000 rides per year. Approximately 90% of trips provided are classified as NEMT. Since it considers drivers volunteers, the VTC must be careful to stay in strict compliance with IRS rules.
In 2018, the VTC developed and deployed a proprietary software system that handles all booking, helps assign and track drivers, and creates more efficient shared routes. The VTC has made a “beta” version of this software to other volunteer transportation organizations around the country for no cost, and may eventually charge a fee per trip if the software is used by a large enough organization.
Trips are received through Medical Answering Services (“MAS”), which is the designated broker for Medicaid-eligible trips. VTC charged MAS a negotiated rate of $1.06/mile (excluding deadheading miles) plus a $6 per trip fee, which is significantly less than other NEMT service providers charge.