Happy Monday! Just reaching out to share a few exciting updates about Liberty and all we are aiming to accomplish!
The first piece of exciting news is that we have started an Indiegogo campaign to enhance mobility across rural America.
Transportation underpins every aspect of life – work, healthcare, groceries, education, relationships and more. We believe that where you live shouldn’t dictate your ability to go places, and keys should not be necessary to enjoy a high quality of life. We set out to transform lives by improving rural transportation, one area at a time. Your donation to our Indiegogo campaign will bring us one step closer to helping those in communities who are in need of transportation, plus you can donate miles that will directly benefit people in need!
Next, I was presenting at the CTAA’s Expo in Detroit during the Mobility Rising Symposium from June 11-18; it was an honor to be able to share about Liberty. One of the themes that became clear visiting with folks after the session is that Liberty’s model of “Mobility as a Service” is about supporting the transportation ecosystem – versus what we often get highlighted in the media for, which is the Uber for rural. Our main goal is not to make money on our drivers, our goal is to support the transportation network in the community.
We optimize resources with our mobility intelligence database, share our data with community and regional planners, provide umbrella insurance so we can all work together to coordinate passengers, deploy state of the art technology, and we create mobility leadership circles that break down common silos between Chambers of Commerce, Community Action Agencies, Disability Resource Centers, Veterans Service Officers, Vocational Rehab, Tourism, Public Transit Agencies, Private Transportation Providers, Managed Care Organizations, Hospital Foundations, etc. All of this is so much more than “Uber for rural”.
For example, in Corpus Christi, Texas our Leadership Circle (or as we locally refer to it as our “Partner Group”) met and we finalized goals in the region (See group photo below). During our conversation, we also uncovered very specific mobility challenges, including a lack of accessible sidewalks to the main service area for the local food bank. In addition, we learned that Veterans who are accessing the Veterans Choice program to see a specialty doctor do not have transportation support. So even though a Veteran can see a local specialist to receive the medical care, the VA does not provide any transportation to assist the Veteran to get to the actual appointment.
With the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living, we have been planning for about 6 months with the support of an RTAP planning grant from Texas DOT and the outcomes even from just the planning phase have been incredibly exciting! (Click here to read our goals!) We all come together on a regular basis to discuss mobility challenges, work together to serve our communities, and discuss resources not for the sake of a report, but to help get folks where they need to go NOW!
As an another exciting update, we were highlighted in an article in The New York Times featuring communities across the US that are changing the face of what ride-share transportation means and how our values and missions differ.
Finally, I wanted to share some updates on a couple of our newest service areas: Athens, Ohio and Yankton, South Dakota. In Athens County, the inaugural class of Liberty drivers officially completed orientation. Bret Whitaker, our Area Manager in Southeast Ohio, started less than six weeks ago and we already have 10 drivers on the road able to help serve the community and over 20 more in the process of getting background checked and vehicle inspections completed. See below for the group picture from our training session. Each of our drivers has an amazing story and why they signed up to make a difference in the community – from retired teachers to graduate students to computer programmers. They truly are a lifeline for many members of the rural community and take that responsibility very seriously.
We’re also very grateful for the support and excitement surrounding our launch in Yankton, South Dakota. Area manager Kate Schramm has done a tremendous job of getting Liberty up and running in Yankton County. In fact, Yankton Mayor Jake Hoffner took the inaugural Liberty ride less than one month after we launched in the region.
Thank you for your support of Liberty and I hope you have a wonderful week!
President & CEO
Liberty Mobility Now, Inc.