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New transportation service making medical care easier to access for some Wood River Valley residents

Medical Bus .jpg
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 20:08:47-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The Mountain Rides bus made its first stop at the Twin Falls Visitor Center Monday, thanks to a collaboration with St Luke’s, and disability service providers Linc.

Twice a day on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, a Mountain Rides bus goes from Sun Valley through Bellevue and Shoshone, and then drops off riders who are seeking non-emergency medical transportation in Twin Falls and at St. Luke's.

Medical Bus inside .jpg
For some individuals in the Wood River Valley, the simple task of getting to and from a doctor's appointment in Twin Falls can put a large burden on them and their families. A new bus service is working to solve that problem.

“Transportation to and from healthcare can be a significant barrier for people,” said Erin Pfaeffle with the St Luke’s center for community health.

Pfaeffle said the need for transportation from the Wood River Valley is growing. The challenge is not just people being able to get health care in the Blaine County area, but some people just struggle to have frequent access to certain medical services.

“It is typically oncology, some specialty services, behavioral health, substance abuse, and dental care,” Pfaeffle said.

Medical Bus Route
Mountain Rides bus route from Wood River Valley to Twin Falls.

The bus transports riders to St. Luke’s Medical Plaza 1, but for travelers going elsewhere when they get to Twin Falls, non-profit organization Linc can provide a taxi for them free of charge as long as they are headed to a medical appointment.

“More of our seniors are going to be independent,” said Christina Erling with Linc. “They are going to be able to come down to the Magic Valley for their much-needed medical needs. “

If Riders don’t have an appointment at the medical plaza, they can stop and the Twin Falls Visitors Center and ask their driver or call Christina at 208-733-1712 (ext 106) for possible transportation to various other appointments. If the rider would like to take a taxi to another location that is not a medical appointment, then they will have to pay a fee for the taxi.

“They can get back on the bus and sit and relax,” said Pfaeffle. “Instead of having that added burden of how am I going to get there am I going to be well enough to drive.”

Medical bus 4.jpg
For some individuals in the Wood River Valley, the simple task of getting to and from a doctor's appointment in Twin Falls can put a large burden on them and their families. A new bus service is working to solve that problem.