IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - "It's the right thing to do, that's really what it is," said En Route Transportation owner and driver, Teresa Browning.
Teresa Browning and her husband Mark, are owners of En Route Transportation. A company that just signed a contract with Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership to provide free 10 one-way rides per month for senior citizens over the age of 60. It's a contract that was previously held by Targhee Regional Public Transportation Authority who shut down its service in April.
"Clearly I'm not going to be able to accommodate every single person, for every single appointment and I'm aware of that and that sucks. We also don't have wheelchair vans, so we couldn't accommodate anybody in a wheelchair, that's also kind of a problem."
Browning operates En Route out of her home, with 8 vans and 8 drivers, herself being one of them. The company also holds a transportation contract with Bonneville Joint School District 93, so the goal with every trip is to sync up the routes to accommodate most people.
"You have to really maximize your trips in order to make any profit. I think people would be really baffled if they really know how much we made per trip."
According to Morgan Neild, senior services director for EICAP, En Route receives reimbursement of three dollars per ride. An amount that is much lower than what Medicaid could offer them, so for En Route to accept the contract- It was a true service to the community.
"I've been transporting some of the same people for twelve years. Twelve years is a long time to become attached to somebody, I mean you care for them, you take care of them, you know them. So that's why I continue to do it, it's the people."
The service will take passengers to any non-emergency medical appointments in Idaho Falls, Ammon, Ucon or Iona.
To sign up for the service, you must register with Easter Idaho Community Action Partnership.