Local grants to support transit connections to healthcare in New York and Virginia

March 5, 2024
Fredericksburg Regional Transit in Fredericksburg, Va., and the Dutchess County Office for the Aging in Dutchess County, N.Y., have received grants to allow the agencies to continue to provide transit service for medical appointments.

Local grants will support transit connections to healthcare in Fredericksburg, Va., and in Dutchess County, N.Y. The grants will support continued service, as well as expansion of certain services. 

Fredericksburg Regional Transit (FXBGO!) 

FXBGO! has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Joe and Mary Wilson Community Benefit Fund of Mary Washington Hospital Foundation and $20,000 from the Stafford Hospital Community Benefit Fund. The grant awards will allow the agency to continue to provide transit service in the Fredericksburg region that will facilitate access to healthcare through public transportation and act as a mechanism to help address health issues through the benefits and connections transit service provides. 

In 2023, FXBGO! said there were nearly 3,000 passengers who boarded transit at the two hospital bus stops and another 7,659 who boarded at other medical stops on FXBGO! routes. The agency says the ridership goal for 2024 is 2,500 passengers at hospital stops and 3,500 passengers at other medical stops.  

FXBGO! notes the transit system has seen a notable increase in ridership due to fare-free service that began February 28, 2022, which contributed to an overall increase in trips, including those to medical facilities and for medical services. If ridership trends continue, FXBGO! says it will meet and/or exceed both targets. 

FXBGO! has specific program objectives within the grant period of 2024, including: 

  • Strengthening its safety and security programs. 
  • Reducing accidents and incidents by three percent year-over-year. 
  • Increasing the number of riders who board at Mary Washington Hospital and Stafford Hospital. 
  • Evaluating FXBGO! routes to determine how to best serve new and existing medical facilities. 
  • Completing “Ride FXBGO!” webinars and/or seminars, social media engagement activities, individual training sessions and outreach sessions to educate the public and staff. 

Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA)  

In 2023, the Dutchess County OFA launched a new transit solution, offered through GoGo Technologies, to help older adults get to non-emergency medical appointments with free on-demand rides. The program was an instant success and will now expand to serve even more seniors in 2024 with a $25,000 grant from the Field Hall Foundation, as well as support from the New York State (NYS) OFA.   

OFA’s partnership with GoGo Technologies – known colloquially as “GoGo Grandparent” – provides a convenient and accessible transportation option for seniors, allowing them to attend medical appointments. It is available to Dutchess County older adults who do not have transportation to and from non-emergency appointments or outpatient procedures after which driving is not recommended.  Launched in May 2023, more than 150 seniors have registered for the program and to date, more than 530 trips to medical appointments have been provided. 

“I’ve heard from many seniors about how difficult it can be when they no longer drive, particularly getting rides to medical appointments. Our Office for the Aging’s partnership with GoGo Technologies has been an invaluable resource for older adults, making it easy for them schedule reliable rides to and from doctor’s appointments and ensuring they get the vital care they need. We are grateful to have additional funding from the Field Hall Foundation and the NYS Office for the Aging to further expand this wonderful program, enabling even more local seniors to access to this great service,” said Dutchess County Executive Sue Serino. 

Seniors who register for the program through OFA can schedule a ride with GoGo Grandparent – either in advance or the day they need transportation – and an Uber or Lyft driver will pick them up and take them to their destination. The county’s OFA reimburses GoGo Grandparent for each ride by a registered program participant. GoGo Grandparent also tracks the rides for safety purposes and screens drivers to suit their rider’s possible additional needs. OFA staff follows up with registered seniors to gauge their satisfaction with their rides and the program. 

The additional grant funding from the Field Hall Foundation and the NYS OFA will allow OFA to explore expanding the scope of the GoGo Grandparent partnership, including the possibility of offering rides to seniors to visit a loved one in a hospital or nursing home. Dutchess County says OFA has received feedback from clients who do not currently have transportation for this type of visitation. 

The Field Hall Foundation is a private foundation whose primary mission is to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers, supporting programs and projects that directly impact low-income and vulnerable older adults and their caregivers in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties and address basic needs. 

“This is an excellent program, helping make vital transportation connections for older adults, which is such a critical need.   The Field Hall Foundation is proud to support Dutchess County’s Office for the Aging as they work to expand this resource,” said Field Hall Foundation Program Officer Patti Horvath. 

“We have been thrilled to see so many older adults throughout Dutchess County utilize the GoGo Grandparent program to take rides to and from doctor’s visits. Reliable transportation can often be challenging for seniors who have given up driving or live alone and the Office for the Aging is proud to offer this option. Based on the program’s early popularity and success, we look forward to signing up more residents for GoGo Grandparent and expanding its offerings and we appreciate the support from both the Field Hall Foundation and New York State Office for the Aging,” said OFA Director Todd Tancredi. 

GoGo Grandparent is one of several transportation options the Dutchess County OFA offers local older adults. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service Pros.com in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.