Special Projects Fund

Project Title

“Freedom Bus”: Eastern Dutchess Medical Transportation

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

October 3, 2011


Hudson Valley






Lack of medical transportation is a major barrier to health care access in eastern Dutchess County, especially among the elderly and disabled, low-income families, and recent immigrants who cannot drive or do not have a car.

Transportation services in these types of rural communities provide a crucial lifeline connecting people to medical services such as hospitals, medical offices, and health centers. An analysis of the transportation needs of the community commissioned by the Foundation for Community Health concluded that an independent provider should be enlisted to create additional transportation, as well as to coordinate with and supplement the capacity of county and private providers. The North East Community Council, Inc. (NECC) implemented a door-to-door bus service to six towns in Northeastern Dutchess County (Millerton/Northeast, Pine Plains, Amenia, Millbrook/Washington, Dover, and Stanford).

This project took place in two phases. Phase I included the development and coordination of the new bus service with existing transportation systems, volunteer-driven services, and other private transporters in Dutchess County and surrounding towns in Connecticut. Activities included mapping out new transportation routes, developing the bus schedules across the six towns, and developing bilingual outreach materials to target elderly, disabled, low-income, and Latino immigrant residents. Phase II implemented the bus service. NECC contracted with the Dutchess County Dial-a-Ride program to expand its current service areas to these six towns.