Non Emergency Medical Transportation Services versus Low-Fare Subsidized Transportation Services


There are a wide variety of government subsidized shuttle programs servicing cities, communities and even some rural areas all across the country that charge a very modest amount of fare. One of the most common questions I receive is “How can my transportation service compete with such low fares?”

Well, truth be told, you can’t! There is absolutely NO way that you can compete with such low fares that can range from a single to a few dollars per transport. But the good news is, you don’t have to compete with these low-fare services because they are NOT your target market!

The following are some quick facts about such low-fare, government subsidized transportation services:

• Typically operate shuttle-type minibuses that accommodate both ambulatory and wheelchair bound passengers
• Many low-fare services operate via fixed route systems, similar to that of traditional bus lines
• Services that do accommodate personalized pickup locations require appointments to be made according to the schedule of the serviced versus that of the client
• Such low-fare services are strictly curb-to-curb services
• Although passengers riding these low-fare services may receive assistance getting in and out of the vehicle, no further assistance is available beyond the vehicle

Although these services definitely help and service a niche need within many of our communities, they are, however, very limited, thus, the reason why these low-fare shuttle services should not be perceived a competitor or threat to your NEMT service.

The following are just a few facts that demonstrate the ever increasing need for your medical transportation business in addition to the limitation of these low-fare services:

• Low-fare, government subsidized shuttle services cannot accommodate stretcher-bound patients
• Shuttle services cannot accommodate patients that require assistance in regards to mobility and cognizant skills
• Many NEMT services can accommodate 24-hour transportation needs to include hospital and emergency room discharges
• NEMT are typical through-the-door services versus curb-to-curb like low-fare transportation services
• NEMT services specialize in direct transportation to and from medical appointments and destinations with little to no additional stops
• Ambulette drivers are trained and prepared to offer more individual customer attention and accommodations as compared to shuttle drivers
• Low-fare shuttle services typically accept cash or vouchers only versus NEMT services which can accept various forms of compensation
• NEMT services can usually accommodate last minute reservations without interruptions in service