The U.S. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced project selections totaling approximately $9.6 million to 37 projects led by transit agencies, governmental authorities, and nonprofit organizations to support innovative transportation solutions to expand access to health care.
FTA’s Access and Mobility Partnership Grants focus on transportation and technology solutions to reach medical appointments, access healthy food, and improve paratransit services. The program emphasizes better coordination between health care providers and transit agencies, as well as technology improvements such as mobility-on-demand shared transportation services and smart phone apps for booking services.
Access and Mobility Partnership Grants support the work of the inter-agency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM), which coordinates federal programs to improve access to jobs, schools, healthcare, and other opportunities. The grants will help bridge gaps between service providers in the transportation and health sectors.
FTA’s Access and Mobility Partnership Grants represent two programs: FTA’s Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program, which supports projects focused on non-emergency healthcare travel needs, and FTA’s Human Services Coordination Research program, which funds research to reduce gaps in services to provide safe, affordable, and reliable mobility options to seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals.
The selected projects reduce barriers to critical healthcare in rural America, increase access to substance abuse treatment in response to the opioid crisis, and add new technologies to increase paratransit program efficiencies, among other solutions. Examples of selected projects include:
- The Greater Portland Council of Governments will receive funding for the Mobility Solutions for Maine project, which will improve access to cost-effective transportation for older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes by raising awareness of transportation resources and support systems.
- The United Way of Central Alabama will receive funding for a transportation resource center that will coordinate the work of dozens of human service organizations providing trips to health and education resources across the Birmingham region.
- The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will receive funding for an automated phone and web reservation system to increase efficiencies for paratransit customers.
- The Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center will receive funding to purchase accessible vans and hire a mobility manager to transport underserved populations in rural southern West Virginia to non-emergency medical services.
FTA received 126 proposals requesting $37.2 million from 37 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.