Paratransit vans can be spotted in almost any neighborhood picking up patients whose means, health, or proximity to public transit makes getting to their doctor appointment or medical treatment a hardship. The government-?funded vans have done the job for years. But, in a growing number of U.S. counties, the expansion of ride-?hailing services has provoked the question: Can the likes of Uber and Lyft do the job better?
For some people, the answer is yes, according to an Allegheny County Department of Human Services pilot study that offered ride-?hailing to its paratransit population. Although the idea has its limits, it hit a public-?service trifecta with the pilot showing it to be a more efficient, more convenient and less expensive option to the traditional van ride for those able to use it.