U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $7.3 Million in Grants for Innovative Ways to Connect People to Healthcare

north carolina will receive $65,000 to expand Durham's Go-triangle call center

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $7.3 Million in Grants for Innovative Ways to Connect People to Healthcare
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September 13, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the selections for Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants, which will help connect people to much-needed healthcare services through improved access to public transportation.

Grants to 19 projects in 16 states will build partnerships between health, transportation, and other service providers to address the problem of how to get people without vehicles to doctors and wellness appointments to help them maintain good health.

Being one of those 16 states, North Carolina will receive $65,000 to fund the Research Triangle Regional Public Transportation Authority project in Durham, NC. The project will expand the GoTriangle Regional Call Center to improve coordinated transit planning and application assistance for paratransit riders who are low-income, uninsured, or have mental health special needs.

"At FTA, we are pleased to address the needs of some of our nation's more vulnerable residents by investing in projects that will help improve their health through easier access to public transit," said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. "These grants will help connect transit riders to healthcare services in new and creative ways."

Many of the projects selected to receive funding introduce technology to forge new connections, while others focus on teaching patients and caregivers how to access and understand transit systems.

Among some of the other projects selected to receive 2016 Rides to Wellness funding:

  • The Flint Mass Transportation Authority in Michigan will receive approximately $310,000 to develop a mobility management program that will coordinate non-emergency medical transportation and trip planning to deliver primary and urgent care for families, older adults and people with disabilities throughout Flint.
  • The Jacksonville Transportation Authority in Florida will receive approximately $400,000 to develop a software interface connecting medical scheduling programs and transit schedules to generate transit travel times and costs for receptionists and patients as they make appointments. The database has the potential to link a large number of healthcare providers to mobility management nationally.
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation will receive approximately $133,000 to fund the Mommy and Me Ride for Free program, which improves coordination and access to healthcare for pregnant women and women with infants in Northwest Ohio. By better connecting to the TARPS and TARTA transit systems, the project will improve health for mothers and babies.
  • The Maryland Transit Administration will receive approximately $103,000 to build upon a mobility management program that addresses barriers for low-income individuals in Allegany County in western Maryland who lack reliable access to transportation to healthcare. The program, which will be updated with transportation coordination software, provides transportation to and from non-emergency medical appointments.