In the United States, medical transportation remains a vital service that a good number of senior citizens depend on. Since a great percentage of these people can’t drive themselves, they rely on services offered by medical transportation businesses to safely get to and from hospitals, doctor’s appointments, nursing facilities, rehabs, pharmacies, etc.
Although there were less than 50 million elderly Americans in 2015, according to recent reports, there will be 70 million of them by 2030. You need to understand that starting and managing a medical transportation business is a very expensive endeavor, but your return on investment will surely be worth it in the end.
Most often, medical transportation businesses seeking financing tend to turn to the same sources as normal businesses, including banks, credit cards, and loans from friends and family. However, these options can negatively limit a business before it even has the chance to succeed.
In this present age, it is becoming very daunting to obtain the financing your medical transportation business requires from traditional lenders like banks, and those who finally qualify sooner or later realize they are dealing with loan terms and very unfortunate repayment conditions that hinder their business growth.
And while credit cards may offer owners the small business financing they need in the short term, they also tend to come with massive interest rates that can drive up debt and lead to financial headaches with time. Lastly, although friends and family can most times be counted on to support in terms of business funding, bringing together money and personal relationships has proven over time to be a recipe for disaster.
In addition, the chances that family and friends have enough money to loan for business financing can also be quite low. However, there is still a plethora of options for business financing available to medical transportation businesses across the country.
Best Available Grants for Medical Transportation Business
Truth be told, there are several grant programs available in the United States that offer funding and support to transportation service businesses in the medical industry, especially those that cater to senior citizens.
These grants can be used to modify vehicles to accommodate senior citizens and persons with disabilities and support training activities for drivers to operate wheelchair lifts and other accessibility equipment. Here are available ones to consider in 2023;
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- American Rescue Plan (ARP) Additional Assistance Funding
- Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants Program (formerly TIGER)
- Access and Mobility Partnership Grants
- Accelerating Innovative Mobility
- Rural Business Development Grants
- Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities – Section 5310
- FTA Enhancing Mobility Innovation Program
- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
- Capital Assistance Program
American Rescue Plan (ARP) Additional Assistance Funding
Last year September 7, FTA announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $2.2 billion in discretionary grant funding for transit systems showing extensive and additional pandemic-associated needs.
Note that Additional Assistance Funding will be awarded to transit systems showing additional assistance is necessary to see to their operating expenses related to maintaining day-to-day operations, cleaning and sanitization, combating the spread of pathogens on transit systems, and sustaining critical staffing levels.
Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants Program (formerly TIGER)
Have it in mind that this grant funds investment in transportation infrastructure, including transit. BUILD Transportation grants have taken over from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
Note that the FTA serves as the administering modal agency for BUILD projects that directly impact public transportation. FTA also ensures that recipients have the technical assistance and support necessary to complete their projects throughout the development and implementation process.
Access and Mobility Partnership Grants
According to reports, this grant seeks to improve access to public transportation by building partnerships among health, transportation, and other service providers. Note that this program makes available competitive funding to support innovative projects that will improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation services.
In 2018, there were two well-noted opportunities under the initiative: the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program and Human Services Coordination Research (HSCR) grants. in 2023, only the ICAM funding was available.
Accelerating Innovative Mobility
Supported by FTA, the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Initiative buttresses FTA’s commitment to support and advance innovation in the transit industry. AIM will strive to bolster innovation by ensuring forward-thinking approaches to transit financing, planning, system design, and service.
The AIM Initiative will also enhance innovative approaches to advance strategies that promote accessibility, including equitable and equivalent accessibility for all Travelers. Eligible recipients include providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state/local government DOTs, and federally recognized Indian tribes.
Rural Business Development Grants
Have it in mind that this program is designed to offer technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Note that small means that the business has less than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.
Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities – Section 5310
This program makes available formula funding to states for the sole aim of assisting private nonprofit groups in reaching the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities when the transportation service made available is unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate to meeting these needs.
Funds are allocated based on each state’s share of the population for these two groups. Formula funds are given to direct recipients; for rural and small urban areas, while in large urban areas, a designated recipient is selected by the governor.
Direct recipients have flexibility in how they select sub-recipient projects for funding, but their decision process must be noted in a state/program management plan.
FTA Enhancing Mobility Innovation Program
Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $2 million in competitive grant funding for projects that improve experience and mobility for transit riders.
FTA’s Enhancing Mobility Innovation Program more or less supports innovations that encourage people to get on board, such as integrated fare payment systems and user-friendly software for on-demand public transportation.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
Sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Services, the program makes available grants to engage citizens 55 years or older in volunteer services. Note that the grants are used to cover the volunteer’s transportation and other out-of-pocket expenses. Funds are also used to obtain equipment, pay for staff’s salaries, fringe benefits, and travel expenses.
Capital Assistance Program
Sponsored by the Department of Transportation, this program provides grants to meet the transportation needs of the elderly and those who are disabled. Note that funds from this grant can be used to pay for capital expenses required to provide services to areas not served by public transportation such as vehicles and driver salaries.
Eligible applicants include private nonprofit organizations. Note that under this program, transportation services are expected to include urban, rural, and suburban regions.