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Madison-based ride-share company aims to serve elderly, disabled

Madison-based ride-share company aims to serve elderly, disabled

MADISON, Wis. - A Madison-based ride-share company said it's aiming to serve Wisconsin's elderly and disabled communities. 

Josh Massey, founder and CEO of Carepool, said the Dane County Department of Health and Human Services approached him with an idea to create the service.

"They said, 'You have a model that would be ideal for people with disabilities and aging,'" Massey said. "They asked, 'Would you want to come and get involved?'"

Massey, who had a background working with ride-share companies, accepted the invitation. 

Since then, the company has spread through the state to areas like Madison, La Crosse and Green Bay. 

Drivers like Jessica Soto-Hernandez said the opportunity to work with at-risk populations is rewarding.

"Any way I can give back to my community and help people get from point A to point B safely, especially with weather or maybe the area they're going they don't feel safe, it might be reassuring to know they have service," Soto-Hernandez said. 

She said the attention to detail Carepool puts into its services separates it from other types of transit the elderly or disabled would normally have to rely on. 

"It's reassuring for the people using our service to know they don't have their loved ones waiting for a bus or a taxi that might not show up," she said. "If there's someone who needs us to meet them at the door, we can."

In June, Massey said Carepool received a $150,000 investment from Jumpstart Foundry, a Nashville-based innovation fund. He said now, he hopes the company can continue to expand. 

"We're looking at La Crosse and Eau Claire where we have a presence, and we're also looking at Brown County next as well," he said. 

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