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United Way of the Brazos Valley sees increase in rideshare program, serving hundreds of clients

Posted: 7:36 AM, Feb 26, 2024
Updated: 2024-02-26 08:36:04-05

BRYAN, Texas — A lack of transportation can be an obstacle for many here in the Brazos Valley. One non-profit, the United Way of the Brazos Valley, is giving people the opportunity to take care of their health through a ride share program.

Emma Wright is a Communications and Community Impact Program Specialist with the United Way of the Brazos Valley.

“If people don’t have a way to get to their medical appointments, they can’t get the care they need,” Wright said. “If they can’t get the care they need, then they suffer to be frank. They suffer very much. I’ve had clients tell me they would not survive without this program.”

Ride2Health is a rideshare program through the United Way of the Brazos Valley that offers transportation to non-emergency health care appointments.

“The past three to four months, our client base has grown so much,” Wright said. “We’ve been giving so many more rides which is great.”

The program launched in February of 2022, run solely on volunteers and staff.

“In [the] summer of 2023, we switched to using Lyft,” Wright said. “We got enough funding and were able to rearrange our finances a little bit to make room for a business Lyft profile.”

Wright said this rideshare program is making quite the impact.

“We’re averaging about close to 20 rides a week now,” Wright said. “I know just this month alone in February so far, the month hasn’t even ended yet and we’ve given 76 rides.”

In just two years of operating, United Way has given hundreds of rides, making sure every person in need has a way to their appointment.

“So far, we’ve given 783 rides to date,” Wright said. “Overall, we have 141 clients who have active clients.”

Wright volunteers her time to drive clients as well. She understands what a difference one appointment can make.

“I’ve given several rides myself,” Wright said. “It is such a joy to be able to see that this is a way we can help people just get the care they need and be able to live, not simply to survive, but to really thrive.”

She said it’s truly all about helping your fellow neighbor.

“I think community where we help each other thrives means that the community itself thrives,” Wright said. “It is a big impact on this community. It is a wonderful impact. I love to see it grow because I love to see others grow.”

You can find more information about Ride2Health here.