Mountain Rides is offering on-demand service to Twin Falls once again

The new service requires reservations to be made 72 hours in advance.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:43 AM MDT
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KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —Mountain Rides non-emergency medical transport route from Sun Valley to Twin falls is up and running after going on a three-month hiatus due to staffing shortages.

In the Spring of 2021, Mountain Rides expanded its service to Twin Falls to benefit the Wood River Valley’s elderly population and those needing help getting to and from medical appointments.

In January, Mountain Rides announced it was putting a pause on its non-emergency medical transport due to a shortage of drivers, despite diligent recruiting efforts.

“I think the intimidation of getting a CDL is part of it. Because of the training that is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Association,” said Jamie Canfield, Dir. of Transit Operations for Mountain Rides.

However, Mountain Rides didn’t give up on the route. They regrouped and brought it back on April 3rd, as an on-demand non-emergency medical transport using ADA Para-Transit vehicles.

“When we did it as an on-demand service, we could then hire non-CDL drivers, which we did. We hired a few new people, and now we have a roster to choose from,” said Mountain Rides Director of Communication Kim MacPherson. “People really felt the service is needed here for all the services that are available in Twin Falls.”

She added the on-demand service is available five days a week, Monday through Friday, but the new service requires reservations to be made 72 hours in advance.

“That seems to be working out really well now. People just call us ahead of time and fill out and send it to us,” said MacPherson.

She also said the new on-demand service is more cost-efficient than the old, fixed route system, which ran three days a week.

“With a fixed route, your bus runs whether you have passengers or not. This route runs when we have somebody. If we don’t have anybody needing the service, we are going to run the service,” MacPherson said.

The non-emergency medical transport service is free to riders, and the route is being paid for through federal grants and money from the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.