Starting this month, Austin-area veterans will be able to get free rides to medical and mental health appointments thanks to a new partnership between RideAustin and Bluebonnet Trails Community Services.
In a press release announcing the partnership, RideAustin and BTCS said the program aims to help bridge the mental health service gap for Texas military veterans in North Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville and the greater Williamson County areas.
“We recognize access to health care services is critical to healthy lives — yet a lack of transportation creates a chasm between the family and access to available health care," said Andrea Richardson, executive director of Bluebonnet Trails Community Services. "Bluebonnet Trails Community Services is honored to partner with RideAustin, linking veterans and their families to transportation to primary, dental and behavioral health services shoring up that chasm resulting in the best possible health outcomes."
RideAustin said it will provide $35,000 in in-kind donations to BTCS to support the program.
“One of our goals when starting RideAustin was to make rideshare services more accessible to the community," added Andy Tryba, co-founder and CEO of RideAustin. "It’s our pleasure to be able to extend our on-demand network and to partner with the greater Austin veterans community to ensure transportation is not a barrier for them to access services.”
For Veteran's Day weekend, RideAustin said it will also be honoring the many U.S. Military veteran drivers through its ridesharing platform. From Thursday to Sunday, users can select the VETERANS vehicle class to take a "Ride with a Veteran," pairing riders with one of the service's U.S. military veteran drivers as a thank you for their service. For each of these rides taken, RideAustin will donate $1 to a local veteran's organization.
In July, RideAustin announced a similar partnership to provide low-income patients free rides to the doctor. More information on that service can be found here.