How it Helps
Both users and transportation providers need to be educated on how to use the vouchers and made aware of other available options.4 This is will improve usability and reduce potential friction between the two parties.
Funding is essential for the success of this program, as it makes subsidizing prices for users feasible. One of the ways to obtain funding is through sponsorship from interested stakeholders or partnerships between the affected community or health providers with transportation institutes. This partnership will yield more commuters for transit agencies while reducing prices for users. Additionally, funds can be obtained through government grants, loans, or donations.
The success of voucher strategy depends on the available transportation mode in the community where it is meant to be implemented. While advanced transportation systems like subways are available in cities, many rural areas depend on less sophisticated private vehicles for transportation. The available transportation mode should be identified, as well as the methods for expansion and forming partnerships with providers.
Verification and Approval:
The socio-demographic profile (such as age, disability status, income level, disease condition, etc.) of all beneficiaries need to be verified and approved before participating in the program. All drivers and transportation agencies also need to be equally verified.
Technology like mobile/desktop apps or websites that will allow users to register and easily claim reimbursements will hugely usher this strategy to success.
Potential challenges of this strategy may include tracking mileage for reimbursements, as there might be over- or under-estimation of mileage. Additionally, there is a possibility of fraud reimbursement claims from transportation providers and agencies from the sponsoring stakeholders.5 The strategy also requires established systems and programs for execution, maintenance, monitoring, and evaluation.
1) Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s New Freedom Transportation Program allows people with disabilities and older adults to have access to transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and recreation trips. This program makes use of volunteer drivers who get mileage reimbursements or vouchers for individual participants in all of the 18 counties it covers.
2) Living Independence Network Corporation
Twin Falls, Idaho’s voucher program helps reduce the transportation burden of the residents of rural Idaho. It provides reduced-cost transportation to and from health appointments, shopping and recreational activities, and other purposes.
3) Wyoming Independent Living
The Transportation Check Program provides an all-encompassing transportation solution including voucher and reimbursement to increase community access and reduce transportation barriers.
4) Medicaid’s Medical Transportation Program
Voucher and reimbursement is one of Medicaid’s transportation programs to increase access to medical care for eligible individuals who are current beneficiaries of Medicaid.