Published in Economic Development
Pilot program to boost mobility options for people with disabilities COURTESY PHOTO

Pilot program to boost mobility options for people with disabilities

BY MIBIZ STAFF Monday, July 13, 2020 11:20am

GRAND RAPIDS — A partnership between Grand Rapids’ transit agency, a health care tech startup and area disability advocates will expand mobility options during the pandemic with pre-scheduled and on-demand rides.

The Go!Bus Plus six-month pilot program allows riders to reserve or call for rides when needed through a mobile app and web portal through various transportation providers. The service area spans the metro Grand Rapids region, roughly from I-96 to M-6 and Cascade Township to Grandville.

The program is a partnership between The Rapid, Kaizen Health, Disability Advocates of Kent County and the city of Grand Rapids.

“While facing the current pandemic situation, our ability to offer a variety of mobility options for our customers is even more critically important,” Steve Schipper, The Rapid’s interim chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The Rapid’s Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit service will provide pre-scheduled rides to any Go!Bus eligible riders, while Lyft, Uber and Hope Network’s GoLux can offer on-demand rides in the app. Users create a GO!Bus Plus account and can access ride options through the web portal or app. The first 200 users to sign up and be approved will receive ride credits.

“We are excited to support and innovate with new service options, especially for individuals in our communities who have disabilities,” said Josh Naramore, Mobile GR and parking services director with the city.

Tech startup Kaizen Health looks to remove transportation as a barrier to health care access. This pilot program is the company’s second partnership with The Rapid this year, officials said.

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