Seeking Modivcare accountability, Chiaravalloti bill to hire transportation coordinator clears committee

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As part of his effort to hold Modivcare accountable, a bill sponsored by Assembly members Daniel Benson (D-14), Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31), and Valerie Vainieri-Huttle (D-37), would establish a coordinator to oversee transportation services provided to clients.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Many of our most vulnerable residents rely on the services provided by the Department of Human Services to complete essential activities, obtain critical support, and improve their daily lives,” the three Assembly sponsors said in a statement.

“If clients do not receive the transportation they need to access these services, it can have a significantly harmful impact on their health and well-being. Employing a Transportation Planning Coordinator will help the department ensure reliable transportation for the many New Jerseyans who need it.”

Bill (A-2441) requires the state Department of Human Services to reestablish the role of transportation planning coordinator by hiring someone with experience in the industry and any other qualifications needed to manage and oversee those services.

The coordinator’s responsibilities would include ensuring the efficacy and efficiency of transportation services provided to clients, overseeing the transportation providers contracted by the department to confirm compliance with all applicable laws, and monitoring and reporting any driver or vehicle issues, among other things.

Chiaravalloti, the vice chair of of the Assembly’s Human Services Committee and whose term expires at the end of the year, has been one of the key legislators aiding New Jersey Together in fighting to improve Modivcare’s lax services.

ModivCare, formerly Logisticare, is a non-emergency medical transportation provider that has an over $100 million contract with the New Jersey Department of Health and has been a state vendor since mid-2009, according to public records.

ModivCare’s self-reported data shows their drivers were over 30 minutes late more than 400,000 times in 2020 out of about two million round trips

Similar numbers are reflected in the first six months of 2021, with more than 200,000 rides showing up over a half hour late.

The bill cleared the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on Monday.

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