While many physicians have transitioned routine medical appointments to a virtual platform, there are still services that require in-person care, such as the administration of the two-part COVID-19 vaccination. For community members, access to health care facilities is key. Here are several programs and resources available to serve residents with non-emergency medical transportation and general wellness needs.
– Through a collaboration of providers, The Rapid’s RideLink program provides individuals aged 60 or over transportation throughout Kent County. Participating organizations include Kent County Community Action, Hope Network, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan and United Methodist Community House. Providing service Sunday through Friday, with some holiday closures, residents can request a ride from a day to a week in advance. Though there is no cost to ride, a $2 per trip donation is suggested. Interested individuals can register here
Courtesy of Senior Neighbors Facebook Page
– Offering a variety of transportation services, Senior Neighbors assists Kent County seniors with maintaining their independence while encouraging overall well-being. Their services include transporting individuals to the nearest Rapid bus stop through their Passenger Adaptive Suburban Service (PASS) and providing bus tickets
. While following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Senior Neighbors also participants in the RideLink program.
Kent Community Transit
– With a focus on improving quality of life and independence for individuals with a disability and seniors, Hope Network provides several programs and resources. Community members with a disability or age 60 and over that are not on The Rapid bus line may utilize their Kent Community Transit service. Serving the Kent County area, residents can request transportation Sunday through Saturday, with holiday closures. Rides can be scheduled from a day to a week in advance and are $5 one-way. Access the registration form here
- The Rapid’s shared-ride paratransit service is described as “an advanced reservation door-to-door transportation service for ADA-eligible individuals
with disabilities and for seniors.” Offering transportation to individuals throughout Greater Grand Rapids, GO!Bus provides a fixed-route service, convenient pick-ups at one’s home or other location, and complimentary personal care attendant travel. Fares vary and eligibility must be determined in advance of use. Application details can be obtained here
– For members of Priority Health Medicaid plans, assistance may be available for travel to and from medical appointments and to secure medically-necessary items. It is requested that non-emergent asks be provided at least three days and up to two weeks in advance. Additional information and request forms in English and Spanish can be found here
. For members of other Medicaid programs, be sure to check with your provider for coverage options and details.
Courtesy of The Rapid
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
(MDHHS) – For individuals and families receiving assistance through select MDHHS programs, transportation support may also be an option. Varying from access to community transportation methods to cash assistance through work participation programs, there are several options available. Additionally, depending on individual needs, residents can discuss the ability to receive reimbursement for select non-emergency medical transportation expenses or assistance. Recipients can apply for benefits or connect with their caseworker to learn more.
– For residents looking to visit the COVID-19 vaccination clinic located at DeVos Place, The Rapid’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, the Silver Line, is an option. Providing service along Division Avenue from Michigan Street down to 60
Street, one of the Silver Line’s 34 stops is the DeVos Place station. Riders will leverage a contactless payment system
by either using a Wave card or purchasing their fare through the designated ticket vending machine (TVM) at the terminal.
Voices for Transit is a nine-part series highlighting public transportation in Greater Grand Rapids by exploring the issues that diverse communities face, lifting up the voices of residents, employers, and stakeholders.
This series is underwritten by The Rapid and is editorially independent in our exploration of these themes.
About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has over 15 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.
Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at [email protected]