Ford prepares to take medical transport venture

GoRide Ford

Ford Motor prepares to broaden its GoRide medical transportation service to 40 cities in the US over the next four years, placing their projects into Ohio and Florida this year and other major states by 2020, the company stated on Tuesday.

The automaker has been testing various methods to grow beyond its conventional business of building and selling automobiles, intending to rival with technology industry startups including Uber Technologies Inc for a share of money spent on transportation as a service.

GoRide utilizes Ford Transit and Transit Connect vans to provide rides to people who need medical care but do not require an ambulance. GoRide last year accepted to provide medical transport for the Beaumont Hospital system of Southeast Michigan. The service has since broadened to Toledo, Ohio.

GoRide now prepares to expand to other more Ohio cities by the end of this year, including Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. In Dayton, GoRide is broadening services in partnership with the city’s transit system.

The unit prepares to launch in Miami and other Florida cities later in 2019. Next year, GoRide prepares to enter into North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and California, GoRide CEO Minyang Jiang Minyang Jiang stated.

“By the end of the year we expect to have more than 130” vans in service, Jiang stated. “By the end of next year more than 200.”

Until now, GoRide is concentrating on urban markets, but Jiang stated the unit is looking at how to give medical transport in rural areas that doesn’t have public transit.

GoRide rivals with medical ride services provided by ride hailing industry leaders Uber and Lyft Inc, along with smaller regional services.

So far, GoRide is being funded by Ford as one of the automaker’s mobility ventures. Ford stated its mobility services lost $288 million in the first quarter. The medical transport service prepares to generate earning from hospital systems and insurance companies that accept to use its service to get patients to appointments.

Jiang did not mention a target for when GoRide could make a profit, but she said with scale the service should get into the black.

“We’re not going to grow at all costs,” she stated.

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