What is the LIVESTRONG Transportation Program?
- The LIVESTRONG Transportation Program provides free transportation services to eligible Travis County residents to and from cancer-related appointments in the Austin metropolitan area. Rides are provided by volunteer drivers. Both volunteer drivers and cancer survivors must apply for the program and will be screened prior to enrollment including background and/or driving record checks for drivers.
Who is Faith in Action Caregivers?
- Faith in Action Caregivers (FIAC) is the nonprofit organization the LIVESTRONG Foundation has teamed up with to launch the LIVESTRONG Transportation Program. FIAC is a network of nonprofit organizations that offers volunteer services to help older adults in maintaining and improving their quality of life. FIAC will manage the program’s day-to-day activities such as ride scheduling.
Who is Shivers?
- The LIVESTRONG Transportation Program is made possible through the generosity of the Shivers Cancer Foundation.
Who is car2go?
- A wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler, car2go offers an innovative mobility solution redefining individual transportation in rapidly growing urban areas by offering a network of several hundred environment-friendly smart fortwo vehicles for rent. Experience spontaneity on wheels: car2go makes transportation flexible. Get in and out wherever you like. Drive as long and as often as you want. Visit car2go.com to learn more. car2go is waiving membership fees and will provide access to car2go vehicles at no cost to volunteers for purposes of this program.
Why is the Foundation starting a transportation program? Aren’t there already other programs here in Austin?
- While there are transportation programs available in Austin, we strive to make our program as accessible as possible with broad-based service. The program will be available to residents of Travis County and will include rides to and from all essential cancer-related appointments including rides to treatment and doctor's visits as well as to support groups, counseling sessions and any other appointment essential improving the lives of people affected by cancer.
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How do I enroll in the program?
- Travis County cancer patients and survivors may enroll online, by phone at 512.220.7777, or in-person at the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center in Austin at 2201 E. Sixth St. Please inform our representative that you are interested in enrolling in the LIVESTRONG Transportation Program.
Who is eligible to receive transportation?
- The program is available to any cancer patient or survivor residing in Travis County who is without any means of transportation to cancer-related appointments in the Austin metropolitan area. All applicants will be evaluated to confirm program eligibility including background checks. If you live just outside of Travis County and are in need of transportation assistance, please contact us to discuss your situation. Rides for residents just outside Travis County may be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of a willing volunteer driver.
Do I have to pay for this service?
- Thanks to volunteer drivers, this is a free service to cancer patients and survivors that are in need transportation to and from cancer-related appointments. You will be responsible to pay for any parking fees incurred as part of your appointment.
I am concerned about riding with a stranger. Is this program safe?
- All volunteers are screened for eligibility prior to enrollment in this program which includes a criminal background and driving record check. Similarly, a criminal background check will be conducted on all enrolled patients. If you ever feel uncomfortable, please use your best judgment and put your safety first. Please report any concerns immediately.
Do I need automobile insurance to participate in this program?
- Only volunteer drivers need automobile insurance to participate in this program. Participants requiring transportation assistance do not need automobile insurance.
What is a Mobility Navigator?
- Faith in Action Caregiver’s Mobility Navigator is responsible for scheduling rides. Patients and survivors should submit requests for rides to the Mobility Navigator who will input requested rides in the web-based scheduling system for volunteers to view. This person will be the primary point of contact for both volunteers and individuals needing rides.
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What happens after I apply for this program?
- Whether you apply online, over the phone or in-person, a LIVESTRONG Navigator will contact you with questions to begin the enrollment process. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated in-person at their home to complete the enrollment process. We collect information about preferences and needs as well as provide instructions for participating in the program. We will also conduct a criminal background check. Note that a driving record and criminal background check will be conducted on all enrolled volunteer drivers as well.
How long does enrollment take?
- Please allow at least two weeks to complete the enrollment process. Depending on availability, it may be quicker but please plan on at least two weeks for enrollment.
How many rides may I request? How much notification time is required?
- Rides are limited to two per week per individual or five per week for individuals undergoing daily cancer treatments. All ride requests require advanced notification of at least three business days, however the more notice you can provide the better. Less than three business days notification will only be accepted in an urgent care situation. Priority will be given to rides to medical-related appointments including treatment and health care provider appointments.
Are there exclusions?
- Rides are only available for cancer-related appointments in the Austin metropolitan area. This program is currently only available to residents of Travis County. Rides for residents just outside Travis County may be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of a willing volunteer driver. Wheelchair service is not available through this program and individuals must be able to get into and out of the vehicle. Patients may be transported to and from the vehicle in a wheelchair. However, wheelchairs will not be transported as part of this program.
How do I submit a request for a ride?
- You will be provided with contact information for your Mobility Navigator once enrolled in the program. We ask that you submit ride requests at least three business days prior to the day you need a ride to the Mobility Navigator either by phone or email. More than three days notification is preferred so please submit ride requests as early as possible. The more time you give us to find a volunteer driver, the better. When submitting a ride request, provide the appointment date, start time, end time, appointment address, pick-up address and any other special needs. Also indicate whether you need a round-trip or one-way ride.
How are volunteer drivers approved for this program?
- Volunteers must have a valid driver license and current automobile insurance meeting Texas state liability minimums. A driving record and background check is conducted before volunteers are approved for this program. All volunteer drivers are required to attend training that includes program instructions and other relevant information critical to providing professional and courteous assistance. Volunteers solely driving car2go vehicles are not required to carry insurance as that is provided by car2go.
How are volunteers assigned to rides?
- Volunteer drivers select and sign up for rides through a web-based scheduling program. Volunteers can review needed rides through regular emails or log in to the website to see ride requests and sign-up. We require at least three business days notice from patients to allow sufficient time to identify a match for each ride request. Volunteer drivers are asked to make two confirmation calls directly to the patient prior to the ride, one when the confirmation email is received and one the day before or of the ride.
Do I have to pay for the volunteer driver’s gas, time or parking?
- This is a free program made possible by the willingness of volunteer drivers. You do not need to pay for gas, time, nor provide them with any other compensation. However, you will be responsible for any parking fees that may be required as part of delivering and/or picking you up from an appointment.
Do the drivers have to wait for me during my appointment?
- We will ask about the level of transportation service you require. Unless you specifically request escort service where the driver accompanies and waits for you during the appointment, drivers do not need to wait. For round-trip rides, the driver simply needs to return at the end of your appointment to pick you up and drive you back home. For extended appointments, different volunteers are sometimes scheduled with one driver providing the ride to the appointment and another handling the pick-up. You will be provided with all details to know what to expect.
What if my appointment changes or gets cancelled?
- Please notify the Mobility Navigator immediately with any changes so that new arrangements can be made. The Mobility Navigator is responsible for notifying the driver. You may contact the volunteer directly which may be especially helpful on short notices. While the Mobility Navigator will attempt to find a volunteer driver to accommodate any changes, note that the three business day advance notification will still be required.
What if I don’t speak the same language as my driver?
- If you speak a language other than English, it will be noted in the web-based scheduling program for volunteers to see. If your driver does not speak the same language as you, communicate as you would with someone who does speak your own language. Be polite, friendly and use gestures. Through the scheduling process, your driver will already know all the necessary ride information including date, appointment time, pick-up and drop-off locations. Both the Mobility Navigator and staff at the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center are bi-lingual in Spanish and English.
What should I do if my ride does not show up?
- This hopefully will not happen but on rare occasions emergencies do occur. Please contact the Mobility Navigator immediately so that we can try to assist you with an alternate ride. We sometimes utilize taxi cab services when there are no volunteer drivers available. This will be provided at no cost to program participants.
What if I am unable to ride in certain vehicles such as tall truck or a two-seat vehicles?
- During the on-site assessment, please identify any special vehicle or other requirements you may have. Please remind the Mobility Navigator when submitting a ride request if you have special vehicle requirements. This will be noted in the web-based scheduling program so volunteer drivers will be made aware of your needs. It’s a good practice to inform your driver during the confirmation call of any vehicle concerns or other special requirements you may have. All car2go vehicles are small two-seaters.
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Dos and Don'ts
May I tip the driver, take them to lunch or give a gift?
- Volunteer drivers are not allowed to accept tips or other forms of compensation. Just thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their assistance.
Can the driver park in handicapped parking spaces at the appointment location?
- Drivers may only park in a handicapped parking space if they have a handicapped parking permit. If you have a handicap placard, you may bring it along on rides so that your diver may park in an accessible parking space.
May I request a specific driver?
- Patients may request specific drivers but ride assignments will depend on volunteer availability. Remember that all ride requests must be submitted to the Mobility Navigator, not the driver.
May I ask the driver to take me somewhere else?
- All volunteers and patients are expected to follow the guidelines for the program. Volunteers are asked to only provide the transportation service that was originally submitted and requested. Please submit all ride requests to the Mobility Navigator.
May I bring someone with me to my appointment?
- During the on-site assessment, you need to identify any individuals that may possibly accompany you to appointments. Please inform the Mobility Navigator when requesting a ride so that it can be noted in the web-based scheduling system. As long as the volunteer driver has agreed to the request, you may bring someone with you to your appointment. No additional pick-up or drop-off locations will be offered to accommodate the additional passenger.
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