March 29, 2009

Opening a NEMT Franchise

OPENING A NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISE - Bernard Squitieri started Express Medical Transporters with one vehicle back in 1995. Today EMT is the largest for-profit non-emergency medical transportation provider in the state of Missouri with 150 vehicles and thousands of trips per year. In 2007, EMT began offering franchising opportunities to prospective investors. Franchise owners are provided these supports to open and operate: 1. Extensive start-up and ongoing training. 2. Comprehensive operators manual. 3. Access to latest technologies for vehicles, logistics, and management functions. 4. Assistance with client outreach, local networking, and national organizations. 5. Guidance on working with government agencies, brokers, equipment & vehicle suppliers.

CASE STUDY - One such Express Medical Transporters franchise opened for business in June 2009 to serve the non-emergency medical transportation needs of Mobile, Alabama. It is owned by Bob McBride and his son, Justin. They already owned a Wheelchair Getaways franchise (see franchise list below), which offers daily/weekly wheelchair accessible van rentals; so they were able to utilize some of their existing assets to offset start-up costs. By the end of the 2009 they had expanded operations and hired 6 more drivers, with plans for further growth in the coming years. They estimate their initial investment "somewhere between $187,000 & $243,000" - Reliable Rides: Father, Son Provide Transportation You Can Count On. According to Entrepreneur Starts EMT Franchise: State Systems Founder Rolls Out Another Business, "franchisees are required to pay a $45,000 franchise fee and a 5% royalty fee based on gross revenue." To find other examples, go to the NEMT Franchises page of my supplement website: Paratransit Watch - EXTRA.

Other related transportation franchises:

1. SuperShuttle - Shared-ride door-to-door airport shuttle service. Includes accessible service upon request. Operating in over 50 U.S. cities, transporting 8 million passengers per year. Read More...
2. Wheelchair Getaways - Wheelchair accessible van rentals agency. The article: "Entrepreneur Starts EMT Franchise" discribes how one father and son partnership started with a Wheelchair Getaways franchise and then successfully expanded their business with a Express Medical Transporters franchise (see 'Case Study' above). Read More...
3. Driving Miss Daisy - Driving and attendant service for seniors. Ambulatory clients are driven to appointments, outings etc.; and staff can act as attendant to the client. Franchise based in Alberta, Canada.
4. Dignity Transportation - Wheelchair accessible transportation service in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. Operating since 1990. Fleet of 50 accessible vehicles. Currently offering Franchise Opportunities.
5. NEPAT Mobile Transport - NEMT company based in North Carolina. Started by Dr. Joe White, it is a national franchisor of non-emergency medical transportation. See Video #2. Read More...
6. Caliber Patient Care - National franchised provider of local and long distance non-emergency medical transportation services. Read More...

VIDEO #2: NEPAT Mobile Transport Franchise


- NEMT Business Opportunities - Introduction to NEMT
- Diversifying a NEMT Company - Introduction
- Interview with Carlos Banks of The Wheelchair Taxi, North Carolina
- Interview with Robert Hall of Basic Life Support, Arizona.
- Interview with Dr. Richard Terry discussing Health Care & the Future of NEMT.


Find more blog posts and directory pages that deal primarily with non-emergency medical transportation on the NEMT Index.

Smart Para-Transit

SMART PARA-TRANSIT - Among the recent additions to the directory are two items that describe how a workable demand response transport (DRT) system could be implemented effectively and affordably using existing technology. In Using Information Technology to Achieve a Breakthrough in Transportation in New York City, LimeWire founder, Mark Gorton explains how such a system (which he calls Smart Para-Transit) could work in New York. While the video below: Transit On Demand (Have Cell Will Travel), produced by Peak Moment Television, serves as a good introduction to the concept. See also: "LimeWire Creator Brings Open-Source Approach to Urban Planning" (Wired Magazine).

Buying An Existing NEMT Business

BUYING AN EXISTING NEMT BUSINESS - For those with the means, buying an existing company can be an profitable, and relatively quick way to enter an industry or market. There are a number of 'Business For Sale' sites on the internet, such as GlobalBX, Business Broker, BizBuySell, BizBen, Merger Network, or BizQuest (Searches display results for "non-emergency medical transportation" - keying in the search term: "ambulette" will yield added results especially companies for sale in the northeastern states.). Another route to go is to consult a Business Broker. The Tenney Group is unique among brokers in that they specialize in transportation. In business since 1973, one of their specialties is non-emergency medical transportation. Visit for more information.

VIDEO #1 - The Tenney Group

VIDEO #2 - Selling Your Medical Transportation Company

EXAMPLES - To give you an idea of the numbers involved, here are some examples of recent (2011) Ambulette/NEMT businesses for sale:

1. Los Angeles - Asking Price: $1,600,000. One of the three largest NEMT companies in Southern California. 18 years in business. 32 wheelchair vans, 4 passenger cars. Medi-Cal and Cal-Optima service provider in good standing, Private contracts with hospitals, nursing homes, school districts.

2. Palm Beach, Florida - Asking Price: $500,000 - $1,000,000. Gross Revenue: $920,000., Cash Flow: $275,000. Inventory: $210,000 including 14 passenger vans. Established 1997. Employees: 10-19

3. San Jose, California - Asking Price: $25,000. Santa Clara County, Bay Area. Inventory: 1998 Ford Windstar with automatic wheelchair ramp, Owner will provide training.

4. New York Metro Area - Asking Price: $900,000. Business has a license to operate in all 5 Boroughs of NYC, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. Owner retiring. Licensed Medicaid Provider. Database of over 50,000 clients. Contracts in place with many large institutions and HMO's. Conditions: Owner is willing to provide financing to qualified buyer. Prospective buyers must be able to put down at least 50%. Owner will also stay to train new owner. Partnership considered.

5. Gulf Coast Region (2011) - Asking price: $585,000, preferred Medicaid provider in 14 counties in the Central Gulf Coast Region, 30 vehicles including some wheelchair vans, price includes all equipment plus accounts receivable that average about $40,000.



Find more blog posts and directory pages that deal primarily with non-emergency medical transportation on the NEMT Index.

March 28, 2009

Wheelchair Accessible School Buses

Links to sites which describe industry best practices for the school bus transportation of children in wheelchairs.

Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) - Non-profit association supports professionals working in the field of driver education/driver training and transportation equipment modifications for persons with disabilities and information dissemination.

Provider Enterprises - New Hampshire company that specials in the transport of special needs students. See video.

School Bus Accident Reconstruction - Paratransit and school bus accident investigation by Dr. Ray Turner.

School Transportation News - Industry information site includes: Special Needs Transportation.

Transporting Students with Special Needs - In-service refresher training for drivers and transportation personnel for students with special needs. Part of the School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Transporting Student with Special Needs Driver Training Course - Includes 7 DVDs and driver and instructor materials. Produced by the School Bus Safety Company. Read More

March 25, 2009


Links to sites describing transportation forerunners, and pioneering work of individuals and groups that laid a foundation for the paratransit services and policy of today. For more information see the Accessiblity Pioneers Series.

Cotting School - First day school for children with disabilities in the U.S. From it's founding in 1893, it has seen transportation as a priority to providing access to education for students of all backgrounds. Read More...

Indiana University Sheet Music Collection - Copies of 11 vaudeville era songs with Jitneys as their subject matter. A 1915 recording of one: Gasoline Gus & His Jitney Bus can be heard through the Internet Archive.

List of References on the Jitneys and Jitney Regulation - 1915 document by the Bureau of Railway Economics.

Metro Motor Services - Based in Rochester, New York. It is a non-profit agency serving all of Monroe County. Origins date back to the Spanish Flu Epidemic, when the Public Health Nursing Association enlisted the help of volunteer drivers to transport nurses and doctors to flu victims. In 1922 the first full time driver was hired and the service grew through the 1930's and 40's to include service to area hospitals, clinics, and social service agencies. In 1966 it began transports for wheelchair users. Today they provide 500,000 trips/year to over 9000 area residents.

Museum of disAbility History - The "online wing" bricks and mortar museum located in Williamsville, NY. It is a project of People Inc.

New York City Taxi Driver Oral History Project - Written, audio, and photo archive.

Paratransit: An Instructional Module - 1985 guide for class taught at West Virginia University, Transportation Education Project, by Anthony Scalici.

Tim Nugent and University of Illinois Wheelchair Athletics - 8 min. video describing Professor Nugent's pioneering work at the University of Illinois which, besides athletics; also included campus accessibility: first university to introduce curb cuts (1950), first buses equipped with wheelchair lifts (1952 - see photo above), and first architectural accessibility standards (1961). Read More...

Walter Callow Wheelchair Bus - Halifax, Nova Scotia accessible bus service founded in 1948 by Walter Callow. Although, left paralyzed and blind after a flight training crash in 1917, he remained active in life and business. He supervised the conversion of a bus for those in wheelchairs (especially veterans), and established a non-profit corporation to organize and perpetuate it's use. Read More...

World of Taxis - Culture and history of taxis, part of the Taxi Library website. Lots of good links and interesting photos.

March 8, 2009

Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT) Resources

Links to reports, studies concerning Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT). See also DRT Providers.

Angus Transport Forum - Scottish sustainable transport project carries out research, education and development relating to community based DRT.

Benefits Assessment of Advanced Public Transportation Systems - 1996 U.S. Department of Transport study looking at various forms of transportation including DRT.

City of Genoa & the Flexible "On -Demand" Transportation Systems: An Innovative Way of Moving - Report describes public transportation innovations (including DRT) being put into practice in Genoa, Italy. A video of the DrinBus can be seen here.

CONNECT - Portal and information service for DRT and FTS (Flexible Transport Services) schemes in Europe.

Connected Cities - European transportation planning magazine showcase's work in developing DRT for rural area's of Greece.

Community Transport Strategy - 2006 transportation plan for community and DRT services in Hampshire County, U.K.

Demand Responsive Transport - Wikipedia article.

Demand Responsive Transportation in Rural Areas - Part of a study larger study of rural public transportation options in the U.K. by the Commission for Integrated Transport.

Demand Responsive Transportation Service for People with Disabilities in Thessaloniki, Greece - 2009 PowerPoint of wheelchair accessible DRT in Greek city.

DRTBus - Site showing examples of DRT in the U.K. and Europe. Hosted by transport consultants MTRU who have been working on DRT in the U.K. since the 1990's.

Evaluation Study of Demand Responsive Transport Services in Wiltshire - 2006 report prepared for Wiltshire County Council (U.K.)

Flexroutes - Report about DRT demonstration project (1996/97) in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Integration of the DRT as a Complementary Service to PT in Toulouse - CIVITAS initiative to improve public transport in rural area of France.

Interactive-Transport - French-Australian company. Developer of the Responsive-Transport application, a fully automated booking management and scheduling system for DRT services.

MASCARA - European project promoting widespread implementation of site-specific DRT services as a key component of social cohesion, and sustainable competitive development in European Regions.

NICHES - European urban transportation project promoting various innovations including the Call-A Bus Service and Urban Lift-Sharing Services.

OSMOSE - Database of various innovative urban transport and mobility concepts and practices worldwide.

Resource Requirement for Demand-Responsive Transportation Services - 2003 report prepared by the Transit Cooperative Research Program. Supporting material (NU DRT Software, Users Manual, and Supplementary Material) available from the Transportation Research Board.

Review of Demand Responsive Transport in Scotland - 2006 Scottish Government report describes examples of interesting schemes and best practices in DRT delivery.

Tactran Bus and Community/Demand Responsive Transport Strategy - 2008 report for the Regional Transport Partnership for Tayside and Sterling (Scotland).

Transit On Demand (Have Cell Will Travel) - 1/2 hour video produced by Peak Moment Television. Also available on YouTube.

Using Information Technology to Achieve a Breakthrough in Transportation in New York City - 2008 proposal by Mark Gorton to apply the latest advances in information and communications technologies to make DRT a viable public transportation option in New York. Serialized as Smart Para-Transit: A New Vision for Urban Transportation. See also the Smart ParaTransit Discussion Group.

Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT) Providers

Links to providers of wheelchair accessible Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT) that serve the general public. For more information see DRT Resources.

California - OmniLink - DRT system providing curb-to-curb wheelchair accessible service for the general public in the Yucaipa and Chino Hills in San Bernardino County.

East Sussex, U.K. - Rover 6 - Community based DRT wheelchair accessible service operated by the Westham and Pevensey Local Transportation Partnership in conjunction with Cuckmere Community Bus. A video showing the operations can be seen here: Rover 6

Hampshire, U.K. - Cango - Flexible routes follow a general direction from a "timed" stop through a "roam zone" of "bookable" stops to another "timed" stop at the other end of the route. Wheelchair accessible.

Illinois - Demand Response - Door-to-door curb-to-curb service primarily for seniors and disabled, but available to all residents. Operated by McDonough County Public Transportation.

Lincolnshire, U.K. - CallConnect - Semi-flexible service that divert off the fixed route in response to passenger requests.

Massachusetts - Ring & Ride - Advance phone origin-to-destination wheelchair accessible services provided by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA).

Ohio - Geauga County Transit - Wheelchair accessible DRT that provides door-to-door service to all county residents visitors requiring service within this largely rural area of north-eastern Ohio.

Ohio - Licking County Transit - DRT service for residents living outside the cities of Newark and Heath. Not wheelchair accessible.

Ohio - Shelby Public Transit - DRT curb-to-curb public service in the City of Shelby and Shelby County area.

Tyne & Wear, U.K. - LinkUp - Operates when regular services are not operating. You can only travel within local service area, but connects with regular fixed-routes.

Virginia - JAUNT - Wheelchair accessible DRT for Charlottesville and surrounding area since 1975.

Virginia - OmniLink - Local weekday DRT wheelchair accessible service operated by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

Wiltshire, U.K. - Connect2Wiltshire - Formerly known as the Wigglybus, offers door-to-door DRT on a core route that deviates for pick-ups into rural settlements. Low-floor buses.

March 7, 2009

Jitney Resources

Links to articles, reports and research on jitneys and similar modes of transport. See Jitney Service Providers for more information.

Characteristics of Paratransit & Non-Motorized Transport in Bandung, Indonesia - Includes assessment of use of Angkutan Kota (Angkot): an Indonesian form of public transport that that has a fixed route, but without fixed schedule.

Shuttle Services - Description of various shuttle services including circulating shuttle buses, demand response, and other special mobility services, jitneys, and free transit zones. Victoria Transportation Policy Institute (Canada).

Smart Jitney/Community-Enhanced Transit Systems - 2006 study of utilizing jitneys with existing transit system in Seattle

The Smart Jitney: Rapid, Realistic Transport - 2007 proposal featured in New Solutions.

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Jitney Operators

Links to providers of wheelchair accessible jitney service. See Jitney Resources for more information.

Atlantic City - Atlantic City Jitney Association - Routes provide service on Pacific Avenue as well as a free shuttle service between Atlantic City Rail Terminal and all casino locations. Not known it accessible.

Las Vegas - Silver Star - Provided by RTC (Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada). Loop routes open to entire community, but designed with seniors in mind. Includes stops at assisted living and senior's centers, and shopping locations. Wheelchair accessible. Video of service can be seen on YouTube.

New Jersey - Nutley Jitney - NJ-Transit jitney service operated by the town of Nutley connecting NJ-Transit trains. Appears to be wheelchair accessible.

New York
- Downtown Connection - Connects South Street Seaport with Battery Park. All buses meet ADA standards.

March 6, 2009


Links to articles, research and insurance companies that cater to paratransit and related transportation.

5 Star Specialty Programs - Insurance for paratransit, ambulette operations, NEMT and more.

CIMA - Insurance for volunteer services including providers of non-profit transport of the elderly and disabled.

Craft Insurance - Independent full service agency based in Greensboro, NC. Offers a variety of services including Paratransit and NEMT insurance.

Fairmont Insurance - Paratransit, Non-Emergency Medical, Ambulette, and other related modes of specialized transport. Available for all 50 states.

HDA Insurance Brokerage - California company offering wide range of transportation programs including NEMT and Taxi.

Insurance Challenges for Paratransit - Detailed study of various issues facing services throughout the U.S. prepared by the National Conference of State Legislatures. A free 90 min. telephone conference discussion based on this issue brief is hosted by the National Transit Institute.

Irwin Siegel Agency - New York company offers paratransit insurance.

Love Insurance Agency - Ohio based company offers transportation insurance for paratransit, taxi, ambulance, school bus, and more.

National Interstate - Passenger/Public Transportation insurance, including paratransit and ambulette.

NonProfits United - California self-insurance pool for non-profit organizations including a Vehicle Insurance Pool (VIP).

Paratransit Insurance Company - Tennessee based company serves only taxi, paratransit, and other public auto fleet operators.

Putting the Brakes on Paratransit Operator Losses - 2006 article by the Insurance Journal.

Southern States Insurance - “Delivering family and business insurance in Georgia, Florida and nationwide. Specializing in Non Emergency Transportation insurance."

Sovereign Risk Solutions - National full service insurance brokerage specializing in paratransit insurance.

Stone Transportation Agency - National company specializing in insuring transportation providers: including paratransit, taxi, and ambulette.

March 1, 2009

Managing Paratransit Costs

MANAGING COSTS - New this month to the directory are three comprehensive studies published in 2008 that are well worth a look during these troubled economic times:

1. Policies & Practices for Effectively & Efficiently Meeting ADA Paratransit Demand

And finally, the following video shows an example of a wheelchair accessible community (shopping) shuttle in Las Vegas that serves the seniors community. This service helps reduce the demand for paratransit service for these routine trips, while providing a flexible transportation option.