What is today’s Medical Motor Service was first founded by the Public Health Nursing Association during the influenza epidemic. The agency originally relied upon volunteer drivers to transport doctors and nurses to area flu victims. The first full-time driver was hired in 1922, and for many years the agency was totally supported by charitable donations, as there was no government aid for specialized transportation. In 1931, the demand for the small agency’s service grew and it was expanded to serve area hospitals, clinics and social service agencies. It was at this point that it was formally incorporated as ‘Medical Motor Service’.
Medical Motor Service became a United Way Agency in 1946 and has continued to receive support from that source for the non-emergency transportation needs of children, adults and senior citizens. In 1965, Medical Motor Service dedicated a car for oncology transportation needs, and in 1966 the agency began the area’s first chair-mobile service for wheelchair users. In 1968, Medical Motor Service became a founding partner of the Al Sigl Center, now the Al Sigl Community of Agencies, and expanded its services to meet the unique needs of its partner agencies.
1978/First contract and coordinated transportation
In 1978, Medical Motor Service began the first “coordinated” transportation service through a contract with the Monroe County Office for the Aging. This service, still in effect today, transports older persons to area senior centers for meals and social services. The contract was unique in that it unified the transportation service of many local senior centers with one operator to improve efficiency and control.
1998/Full-service garage opens for maintenance
By early 1998, Medical Motor Service had opened a full service vehicle maintenance garage that services all the MMS fleet, as well as vehicles from other not-for-profit agencies. The addition of this facility allowed MMS to provide onsite repairs and preventative maintenance, strengthening the agency so that it was better able to control the cost, quality and safety of its fleet.
2007/New, larger headquarters
In 2007, Medical Motor Service relocated its headquarters to an 18,000-square-foot facility at 608 S. Clinton Avenue in Rochester. The headquarters are home to a customer call center, driver dispatch, administrative offices and vehicle maintenance facility conveniently located near Interstate 490.
2008/Awarded Outstanding Specialized Transportation Service Award
In 2008, Medical Motor Service was awarded the Outstanding Specialized Transportation Service Award from the New York State Department of Transportation in recognition of its collaborative and innovative programs that address the need for specialized transportation of persons with disabilities and the elderly.
Today/580,000 annual trips for 12,500+ area individuals
Medical Motor Service’s unique role within the network of specialized care provision organizations in Monroe County is no less valuable to life in the 21st century, where being unable to travel independently can make the most simple everyday tasks challenging. Today, Medical Motor Service provides an average of 580,000 trips a year to over 12,500 area residents who are disabled and/or unable to use traditional transit services.