Business expands patient-transport service

CHECKING OUT THE NEW RIDE — The Ferrari family and company operations manager pose with the newest addition to the A+ Rides fleet of vehicles. In front, from left, are dad Andy Ferrari, son Davis Ferrari, daughter Kaitlyn Ferrari, and mom Kellee Jo Ferrari. Sitting in the wheelchair is Anita Hofman.

CHECKING OUT THE NEW RIDE — The Ferrari family and company operations manager pose with the newest addition to the A+ Rides fleet of vehicles. In front, from left, are dad Andy Ferrari, son Davis Ferrari, daughter Kaitlyn Ferrari, and mom Kellee Jo Ferrari. Sitting in the wheelchair is Anita Hofman.

BEACON PHOTO/JOE CREWS

A DeLand-based company that provides non-emergency transportation for senior citizens and people with disabilities can now provide rides for wheelchair-users.

A+ Rides, co-owned by Andy Ferrari, had been providing transportation to people who were ambulatory. But he recently added a bus that can carry 14 passengers and three wheelchair-users, with a lift to lower and raise the wheelchairs. The new vehicle expands the number of clients A+ Rides can transport to and from doctor’s appointments, shopping or other errands.

Plans are in the works to add the ability to transport people on stretchers, too.

Ferrari and his wife, Kellee Jo, are the owners and operators for this company, and their vision is to help senior citizens and others in the community get out more and do what they need to do.

“We started the company in July 2015 with one van and two employees — me and my wife,” Andy Ferrari said recently. “It was just taxi runs to start with, mostly by appointment to and from work and trips to the airport.”

Some of his earliest clients were people needing rides to and from work. Ferrari was willing to take them on a scheduled basis, and allowed them to carry balances to pay when they could — not necessarily when the ride was given.

“We love what we do, and we love our customers,” Ferrari said. “We treat everybody like family. We always say, ‘You’re only a stranger once with us.’”

That sentiment is reflected in the personal service they give customers, he said. When A+ drivers take someone home, they make sure the customer is settled in before leaving — the drivers don’t just drop him or her off out front.

And if the customer’s condition requires it, a certified nursing assistant can be called to the customer’s home, Ferrari said.

A+ Rides now has seven employees, and more hires are expected in the near future, Ferrari said. Most of the employees will be drivers, and a commercial driver’s license (CDL) generally is not necessary.

Since its inception, A+ Rides has added more services to help meet the needs of patients at Florida Hospital DeLand and Family Health Source. For instance, in response to requests from the hospital and other agencies, A+ Rides may become Baker Act-certified, Ferrari said. That would allow the company to securely transport patients who are being involuntarily committed because they could be a danger to themselves or others.

“It’s all part of our growth in providing medical services,” Ferrari said. “And there’s a huge unmet need in West Volusia for nighttime and overnight services, and we’re willing to do that.”

A+ Rides also offers limo and executive car service, and a “Cool Bus,” a party bus sporting a rainbow paint job that can be used for birthday parties, corporate events, bachelor/bachelorette parties, nights on the town, pub-crawls or beach trips.

To reach A+ Rides, call 386-490-5379 or go to www.aplusrides.com.

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.3 (6 votes)