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The Point: A successful grant application leads to new service to connect patients to healthcare.

The Blythe Wellness Express recently launched transit service that will provide highly affordable lifeline transit service to hospitals and pharmacies in the Palo Verde Valley.

This new service will help ensure that residents can access healthcare in a region where transportation can be one of the biggest impediments to receiving medical care.

In a unique partnership with Palo Verde Valley Transit Agency (PVVTA) and SunLine Transit Agency, the Blythe Wellness Express creates a new, critical linkage for residents and underscores how partnerships between the transportation and health industries can reduce healthcare costs, increase healthcare access, and improve our quality of life.

The program is made possible thanks to a Federal Transit Administration grant of approximately $186,000. It was one of only 19 total projects awarded nationwide and one of only two in California. Thanks to the contributions of several other funding partners, the Blythe Wellness Express will provide a three-day weekly route and advanced reservation service for residents.

Projected stops include J.F. Kennedy Hospital, Indio; Eisenhower Hospital, Palm Desert; and Desert Regional Hospital, Palm Springs.  The expected benefits of the program include increased patient compliance with treatment, decline in emergency room utilization and hospital readmissions, and increased outpatient visits by providing a regular form of transportation.

RCTC thanks the late Supervisor and RCTC Commissioner John J. Benoit, Supervisor and RCTC Commissioner Manuel V. Perez, Blythe Mayor and RCTC Commissioner Joseph DeConinck, Congressman Raul Ruiz, Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and the many others who wrote letters and partnered with RCTC in supporting the Blythe Wellness Express and advocating for the Palo Verde Valley receiving this grant.

To learn more about this project, see this article Palo Verde Valley Times.

RCTC Blythe Article Bus Route Graphic