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Transportation, Particularly For Rural & Underserved Communities, Can Be One Of The Greatest Barriers For Seniors And People With Disabilities Getting The Medical Care They Need

Schumer, Gillibrand, Morelle Fought For Increased Funding To Federal Transit Pilot Program To Bolster Partnerships Between Healthcare And Transportation Options

Reps: New Program Will Make It So Getting To The Doctor For Greater Rochester Senior Citizen And Residents Is Only One Click Away!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Congressman Joseph Morelle today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $240,000 grant to Lifespan of Greater Rochester to improve transportation services to doctor’s and other non-emergency medical appointment for underserved Finger Lakes residents.  The lawmakers said that this funding will allow Lifespan to expand their “Finger Lakes’ 1-click web portal,” to help riders access community transportation and schedule trips. In addition, the funding will help Lifespan expand their staff to better serve residents across county lines to get to major medical hubs like Strong Memorial or Rochester General Hospital for medical services.

“Transportation is what connects our communities, but for too many elderly Finger Lakes residents, particularly in our rural and underserved areas, this lifeline can be one of the greatest barriers to receiving the care they need. That is why I am proud to deliver this critical funding to Lifespan of Greater Rochester to boost transit services and assistance to help people get to the doctor, dentist, and other essential appointments with just a click,” said Senator Schumer. “I fought hard to increase funding for federal programs to improve unique transportation options like those put forward by Lifespan to help get people where they need to go, and I will keep fighting bring home resources so the greater Rochester region can keep rolling to a brighter future.”

“Low cost, easy to access transportation is a lifeline for senior citizens and those with disabilities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding will help ensure that elderly Finger Lakes residents can get to doctor’s appointments and access other essential services. I’m proud to have fought to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to secure critical funding for transportation access and I’ll keep fighting to improve public transit across our state.”

“Finding accessible and reliable transportation is one of the biggest barriers holding older residents back from receiving the critical healthcare services they need and deserve,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “I’m proud to have worked alongside my partners Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to deliver this funding that will strengthen transportation services for our aging community. Lifespan already does extraordinary work to uplift our most vulnerable populations, and I’m grateful that this funding will allow them to provide an even higher level of care to those who need it most.”

Ann Marie Cook, President/CEO of Lifespan said, “Lifespan is very grateful to receive funding to connect people to needed transportation services. One of the primary reasons that older adults call Lifespan is to learn and get connected to transportation so they can go to doctors’ appointments. During the pandemic, many voluntary providers closed their doors. This funding is critical as we help people get access to medical services and other necessary appointments. We greatly appreciate the support of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Morelle for their efforts to secure needed funding for older adults in our region.”

 Specifically, this grant will allow Lifespan of Greater Rochester to establish a regional mobility manager to help better coordinate transportation county by county, bolstering services to those who need to travel from farther away.  In addition, it will help purchase new software to expand the “Finger Lakes’ regional 1-click web portal,” creating an integrated and seamless process riders can use to access community transportation. The expanded portal will include the ability to schedule, pay for transit trips, and customizations help better determine options based off travel and accessibility needs.

The lawmakers also highlighted that the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Pilot Program, which funded this grant, received a $25 million dollar boost through the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Law, increasing opportunity for further expansions of programs like this throughout Upstate New York. The FTA’s Access and Mobility Partnership Grants seek to improve access to public transportation by building partnerships among health, transportation and other service providers. The program provides competitive funding to support innovative projects for the transportation disadvantaged that will improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation services.