Needham Community Council – Needham, MA
In 2017, the Needham Community Council began supplementing its volunteer driver medical transportation program with trips provided through the ridehailing company, Lyft. Lyft rides were funded through the Needham Community Council operating budget and a donation from Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Needham.
NCMM's Promising Practices Database
Long-Distance Medical Transportation
Service: Public Transportation
Provider Organization: Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority
Funders: Federal, CCRTA Parking Revenue
Other Partners: Healthcare, CCRTA,
Description: To promote access for Cape Cod residents to specialty medical appointments in Boston, the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) has run a Boston Hospital shuttle since 2001. The shuttle starts on the Outer Cape and picks passengers up at seven stops in different Cape towns, and then drives into Boston and drops passengers off at their appointments. In the early afternoon, the shuttle picks riders back up for the return trip to the Cape. Prior to the pandemic, service ran one daily round trip five days a week; since the pandemic, the shuttle runs Monday through Thursday. In order to serve as many residents as possible, the shuttle is open to the general public.
Impact: CCRTA staff are active in community efforts, including sitting on Cape Cod Healthcare’s Community Benefits Committee. Through participation on this committee, CCRTA became aware that residents on the lower and outer Cape were experiencing challenges in accessing transportation to appointments at healthcare facilities in other parts of the Cape. To address this, CCRTA began partnering with intercity bus provider Peter Pan Bus and Cape Cod Healthcare in 2019 to create a semi-express service that runs the length of the Cape from Hyannis and Provincetown with stops at multiple healthcare facilities along the way, including Cape Cod Hospital and Outer Cape Health Services. The service runs two round trips a day and is operated by Peter Pan. Service is open to the general public. Federal stimulus funds provided the majority of funding for this service, with some additional funds from CCRTA parking revenues.
In 2021, CCRTA recorded 1,181 passenger trips on the Boston Hospital Shuttle. Peter Pan recorded 8,954 trips on the Provincetown line, including but not limited to riders using the bus to access healthcare appointments. While neither service picks riders up at home, it is easier for Councils on Aging and other community transportation providers to make the local trip from someone’s home to the local bus stop instead of all the way to the health care appointment. CCRTA also offers fixed-route, demand-response, and microtransit services that riders can use.