Area public transit systems to offer regional senior medical transportation service

Sept. 15, 2021
Greene CATS, Greater Dayton RTA and Miami County Transit will ensure area seniors and disabled persons have the transportation they need for life-essential appointments through a new grant-funded program set to launch this fall.

Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Miami County Public Transit and Greene CATS Public Transit are partnering to provide a new grant-funded program set to launch this fall to to ensure area seniors and disabled persons have the transportation they need for life-essential appointments.

Greene CATS, Greater Dayton RTA and Miami County Transit saw the need for a demand-response service helping seniors and the disabled who may not have adequate access to transportation for medical and pharmacy appointments, and began working on a program to solve this issue. Applying as group for a grant program administered by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) that offers assistance to this vulnerable population, the three agencies were jointly awarded funds to purchase some additional small vehicles and provide door-to-door transportation for this purpose.

“One of the most critical needs we heard from our area seniors at a recent public hearing was the need for direct door-to-door service for medical, pharmacy and even grocery trips,” said Greater Dayton RTA CEO Robert Ruzinsky. “They indicated that seniors are not always able to access the big bus fixed-route services, and not all seniors qualify for the paratransit services RTA offers to provide access door-to-door.”

Miami County Transit and Greene CATS currently offer door-to-door service, and this funding will allow them to improve options for seniors needing medical-related transportation. Meanwhile, Greater Dayton RTA will begin offering door-to-door transportation for life-essential appointments such as medical and grocery trips to seniors who would not qualify for the agency’s paratransit service. Greater Dayton RTA says it plans to release additional details over the coming weeks.

The grant award from MVRPC will allow all three local transit systems to offer additional medical trips, as well as provide medical trips across county lines—an issue that has been a challenge for seniors who rely on public transit. The agencies hope this service will also help reduce the cost of healthcare in our region by getting seniors and the disabled to basic preventive care appointments.

“In many cases, Miami County residents need specialized medical services in Dayton or even at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base hospital,” said Miami County Public Transit Transportation Manager Sarah Baker. “Being able to coordinate with our regional public transit partners will make it easier for seniors to receive the required care.”

Ken Collier, executive director of Greene CATS, says this service will help improve the quality of life for older adults. “

Preventive care is important and, oftentimes, transportation issues prevent our senior and disabled residents from keeping appointments for routine services,” Collier said.

The three agencies will each operate service in their respective counties to handle in-county trips, and will coordinate services that require a medical trip across county lines. These services are for non-emergency scheduled medical appointments and services. Each agency will tailor services to meet the needs of their county’s senior and disabled residents.