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Ford For Your Health

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When it comes to the new van-based transportation services that are popping up in places like San Francisco, it pretty much seems as though they’re about taking employees from some startup in SoMa to a restaurant in the Ferry Building.

So huge credit to Ford for establishing its GoRide transportation system in the Detroit metro area.

Ford Launches GoRide Service

Ford has been working with Beaumont Health, one of the leading health-care providers in southeastern Michigan, on piloting the program that provides on-demand, non-emergency medical transportation for people—even people who are in wheel chairs.

The program was piloted late last year with five Transit Wagon vans that were upfitted in various ways for providing medical transportation needs (bus-like doors, running boards, flip-up seats, etc). There are present 15 transits in the fleet, 10 more are scheduled to go into operation by mid-year, and the plan is to have 60 vans operating by the end of the year.

The current service has a 92 percent on-time patient pick-up and delivery rate. The wait for on-demand wheelchair transport (not all vans are equipped for this capability) is an average 10 to 230 minutes.

Drivers (unlike those, say, for the ride-hailing services you’re probably familiar with) are specifically trained for working with the patients, and can assist with getting the patients into and out of the vans.

Ford Launches GoRide Service

While this GoRide service might seem like a “nice” thing to do, Ford cites a report by SCI Solutions that says missed appointments and consequent inefficient scheduling has a price tag of $150-billion in the U.S. annually.

Add to that the ever-increasing number of Baby Boomers who are getting to the point where they’re going to be spending more and more time visiting doctors, and the need for efficient, safe transportation becomes all the more necessary.

As Marion Harris, vice president, Ford Mobility Business Group, put it, “There’s no excuse for the fact that so many people have trouble simply making it to their medical appointments.” Well, the excuse for many of these people is that they don’t have a reliable way to get there.

GoRide is an answer.

Here’s hoping that it not only expands to other healthcare providers in the greater Detroit metro (yes, we’re located there, and one of these days. . .), but that this expands throughout the country.

After all, at some point even those people in San Francisco are going to be more concerned with arthritis that artisanal food.

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