Luxury Coach & Transportation

February 2019

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION FEBRUARY 2019 25 per distance, costs for trained personal, and sometimes a special pick up fee. In most cases, the passengers our indus- try will seek are not the person paying the bill. Rather than you dictating the prices, insurance companies or NEMT transportation brokers such as Pro- Care, Albors & Alnet, and One Call will tell you what they are willing to pay. ese fees are also based upon mileage and waiting time. Wheelchair lift vans command a price every time the lift is used. Using the skills of professional chauffeurs provides an opportunity to raise the bar on NEMT rides by providing kind- ness, compassion, and even friendship to those passengers in need of NEMT service. We can create an experience and added value that other companies like Lyft or Uber simply cannot. e rates paid can range anywhere from $1.65 a mile to $2.95 per mile, and wheelchair lift rates can range from $25 per lift to $55 per lift depending on the broker and your geographic region. Wait time varies from $25 to $45 per hour, depending upon the vehicle type. Why You Should Consider J.C. and Christina Yancy, owners of Bla- sian Executive Secured Transportation in Phoenix, saw the need to provide luxury wheelchair transportation be- cause no one else in their area did. Bla- sian commissioned Battisti Customs, a well-known coachbuilder, to build a luxury wheelchair transport vehicle capable of carrying wheelchair riders as well as ambulatory passengers. J.C. Yancy said the company spent $30,000 on the vehicle and vowed to offer its services at a rate comparable with any other van in their fleet. ey immediately found a client base and have dramatically increased their revenue stream. More importantly, the couple shares important milestones with their passengers as they work to- wards recovery or improvement of their lives. ey call these encounters "angel moments," and they share in many of them with their NEMT passengers. eir passengers send emails and post on social media about the company and the compassion of Blasian staff. You can't beat a marketing campaign like that for growing this specific niche of business. — Jim@LCTmag.com limo operator, for example, bought a one-year old Dodge van for $4,500 when the owner passed away and the family wanted to get rid of it. As of press time, Mobility Works had wheelchair vehicles advertised at $14,000. Another option not well known is to apply for grants and other disability as- sistance programs. ese resources are offered by the federal government and many non-profit organizations devoted to serving disabled people. You can find a list of organizations and grants by state at websites such as mobility- works.com, mobilityresource.com, and braunability.com. All About the Money Billing for ADA transportation differs from the standard version. Take note transportation network companies (TNCs) already pursue this market. Uber offers WAV (Wheelchair Accessi- ble Vehicles). Its fees are based on cost HIPAAtraining.com and Adaptible.com. The Right Vehicle How in depth you want to be in this business is up to you. You can purchase a new or used wheelchair accessible van, or modify a vehicle in your fleet with a wheelchair conversion. e con- versions range from $10,000 to $20,000. You can modify a van with a rear entry wheelchair ramp from $10,000 to $14,000. A side entry wheelchair lift will cost about $20,000. is option can require the side door to be removed and replaced with a double-hinged or elec- tronic opening door. is also includes a lift that will lower to the wheelchair surface. Variables in conversion pric- ing span manual vs. power ramps, step flares, removable seating, rubber, hardwood or carpeted flooring, and lighted ramps. Many wheelchair com- panies such as Mobility Works sell used wheelchair vans. A California-based In a report on the cost benefits analysis prepared for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, 3.6 million Americans miss or delay non-emergency medical care each year because they cannot provide or buy their own transportation. L to R: Using the skills of professional chauffeurs provides an opportunity to raise the bar on NEMT rides by providing kindness, compassion, and even friendship to passengers.

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