Usually, the most distressing part of getting from Point A to Point B is hitting a string of red lights. Finding transportation to our jobs, the grocery store and other daily errands is often an afterthought. This isn’t the case for many of our neighbors, however, who can’t drive themselves or don’t have access to reliable transportation.
When seeking medical attention, this is a dangerous barrier. Even missing a routine doctor visit because of being unable to find a ride can lead to life-threatening complications.
Local 2-1-1 staff dispatch and schedule rides on behalf of clients
Luckily, United Way of Central Alabama’s (UWCA’s) Ride United program offers free round-trip, on-demand rides that connect qualified individuals to critical healthcare services and vaccination sites. Riders in Jefferson County can simply call 2-1-1 , and a UWCA community service response specialist will connect them to a clean, safe Lyft ride to and from their destination. Or visit UWCA’s 2-1-1 page for more information.
- Clients have a vaccine appointment (if required by the vaccination site) or scheduled medical appointment (drive-through vaccination sites are accommodated).
- No other transportation options are adequate or available (such as Non-Emergency Medical Transit provided by Medicare or Medicaid)
- Clients are 18+ years old or accompanied by a guardian.
- Clients will comply with Lyft’s Health Safety Requirements, which include wearing a face covering.
- No proof of income is required.
- Local 2-1-1 staff dispatch/schedule rides on behalf of clients ensuring connection with the driver.
A Life-Saving Service
Making all your doctor appointments is essential, especially when they include receiving your COVID-19 vaccines. Considering new virus variants and an expected spike in COVID-19 cases throughout winter, it’s imperative that everyone gets vaccinated.
Individuals can use Ride United for medical trips such as:
- COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
- Flu vaccine appointments.
- Non-emergency medical appointments.
- Pharmacy/prescription pick-up.
- Non-emergency hospital visits, such as dialysis.
If patients can’t see their doctor or pick up a prescription, it can have a domino effect of bad outcomes. Missed appointments mean individuals also lose out on having important medical questions answered or updating physicians on new health concerns. In the case of COVID-19, not receiving a vaccine could mean spreading illness to loved ones and other community members.
UWCA wants to help people get where they’re going – and stay healthy. Vulnerable individuals shouldn’t have to wait to receive medical care because they don’t have consistent, safe and convenient transportation.