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Getting patients to the doctor's office is a big cost for many insurers. That presents an attractive opportunity for Lyft and Uber, which to date have focused on consumers.

Non-emergency medical transportation is a $6 billion market, with most of that money going to cover the poor and elderly, who often don't have cars or can't drive. Medicare and Medicaid providers typically foot the bill.

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Lyft is partnering with Amtrak to help train passengers get to and from the train station. The new deal will let you book a car with the ride-hailing service from within Amtrak’s mobile app. If you’re a new Lyft rider, using the promo code “AMTRAKLYFT” grants you $5 discounts on the first four rides, regardless of whether they’re booked through the Amtrak app. Lyft says its service reaches 97 percent of all Amtrak riders in the US.

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As planners seek to leverage public transit investments with enhanced first mile-last mile connections, it is critical that market analysis guide those initiatives and that impacts and cost effectiveness are part of the performance assessment.

In the ever-trendy world of transportation planning people seem to be infatuated with discussions of first mile-last mile public transportation connections and intermodalism. Given all the attention, one would think that the traveling public is anxiously awaiting their next opportunity to transfer vehicles to complete their trip. Nothing can be further from the truth. People don't aspire to transfer; they don’t aspire to experience an intermodal terminal. They almost always want to get door to door in the fastest, simplest, and most reliable fashion. Transferring between vehicles is a necessary inconvenience, not a virtue.

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