Curb-to-curb vs. door-to-door transport: Why the extra mile matters

When it comes to non-emergency medical transport service (NEMT), helping passengers on and off of the vehicle is a good start, but it shouldn’t be the whole story. Quality NEMT begins with walking the passenger from the door, and should end when they’re safely back at home.

A major consideration when choosing an NEMT service should be whether they provide door-to-door transport or merely curb-to-curb transport. The distinction might seem small, but to the passengers who regularly use NEMT services, it can make all the difference. To get an idea of the differences, here are what the two service models entail.

  • Curb-to-curb transport
    The passenger waits outside their home, waiting for the driver to, hopefully, arrive punctually. The driver will pull up and stop in front of the curb and help the passenger onto the vehicle. Once they arrive at the destination, they will help the passenger out of the vehicle before driving away.
  • Door-to-door transport
    Door-to-door service includes everything described above, but includes taking the passenger to the door of the school or doctor’s office. On the ride back, the rider will walk the passenger all the way back to their door. Going the extra twenty steps or so ensures the safety of passengers and offers them peace-of-mind knowing that they will have assistance throughout the entirety of the trip.

ADA regulations only outline the need for “origin to destination” service, but do specify that further assistance may be necessary under certain circumstances. This is why many NEMT services that provide curb-to-curb transport will provide door-to-door transport upon request. This practice, however, is problematic when you consider that many of those who utilize NEMT services have disabilities and may be unwilling—or unable—to request further service. Good service means anticipating needs, and door-to-door NEMT service does just that—providing quality service without having to specifically ask for it.

A quality NEMT provider should have door-to-door transport that comes standard—passengers shouldn’t be required to ask for quality service. Compassionate service providers go above and beyond, from helping wheelchair-bound passengers safely navigate steps and sidewalks to offering an arm to the elderly. Qualified drivers should be able to accommodate passengers of varying disabilities, providing emotional comfort and physical support as needed.

Compassionate drivers will go above and beyond, treating passengers like they’re family. Imagine how you would treat a loved one—would you leave them on the curb, or would you help them all the way to the door? The same should apply to your NEMT service. NEMT service should be more than a ride from the point of origin to the destination.

At the core, NEMTs are responsible for getting patients to and from appointments. But professional operations are much more than taxi services—they should go the extra mile to ensure the safety of their passengers.

Choose a NEMT provider that strives for exceptional service rather than stopping at ‘good enough.’ Learn more about the difference door-to-door transport makes by reading our client testimonials.