January 21, 2019
The program is offered through a partnership among Central Health-funded CommUnityCare Health Centers , United Way for Greater Austin and Lyft.
Central Health is allocating $15,000 to fund Lyft rides beginning now and running through at least April 30.
CommUnityCare patients can book a Lyft ride by calling the 2-1-1 United Way Navigation Center, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center front desk staff can also book Lyft rides for patients and visitors lacking transportation.
“A lack of reliable transportation can prevent patients from accessing essential services such as primary care, behavioral health care, pharmaceuticals and social services,” said Mike Geeslin, Central Health President & CEO. “The issue is exacerbated when access to public transit is difficult or unavailable. “
According to Central Health’s 2017 Demographic Report, more than 26,805 Travis County households lack access to a vehicle. Thousands of these families live in East Travis County, outside the Capital Metro service boundary, or in areas with infrequent service.
“We believe using Lyft’s rideshare infrastructure and concierge booking platform provides the best opportunity to continue providing transportation services at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center,” said Elizabeth Marrero, Director of Programs at Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center. “The service is easy to use, and allows staff to manage multiple rides and book transportation in advance.”
A previous pilot program started in July 2018 provided shuttle services for residents living in East Travis County to medical and non-clinical appointments at the Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center. Before expiring Dec. 31, the pilot provided 231 rides.