SouthWest Transit said Monday it will expand service for riders who need to get to and from nonemergency medical appointments throughout the southwestern suburbs beginning Nov. 18.
The Eden Prairie-based transit agency said the service, called SW Prime MD, will now serve all medical facilities in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Carver and Victoria. Ridgeview Medical Center and Ridgeview Specialty Clinics in Waconia, Ridgeview Excelsior Clinic and some areas of Minnetonka and Edina will be included in the expanded area, as well.
Passengers using the SW Prime MD service can be picked up from any location in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Carver and Victoria, from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Trips can be booked up to 14 days in advance.
Once their appointment is over, customers contact SW Prime for a return ride home. The fare heading to the appointment is $10 for scheduled rides, and on-demand return fares are $5 when paying cash or $5.25 when using a credit card.
Ridgeview will provide a $5 subsidy for its customers, which reduces the cost to $5 to get to appointments at the Ridgeview facilities. Children ages 5 and under ride for free.
SouthWest Transit announced in May that it received a $290,500 grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to operate and purchase vehicles for the SW Prime service.
“Affordable transportation can be huge barrier when it comes to accessing the medical care that people need,” SouthWest Transit CEO Len Simich said in a news release. “We are excited to be able to offer the people in our community an affordable and reliable option to get to those important appointments.”
Customers can request their ride during business hours by calling 952-SW-PRIME (952-797-7463).