Thursday, January 29, 2015

Take THAT, Cancer! Free Rides Expanded

PhillyPatientRide has been such a success, it's now a permanent program

Take THAT, Cancer! Free Rides Expanded

On Jan. 1st, PhillyCarShare launched a pilot program that offered Philly cancer patients free rides to their hospital appointments. The goal was to recruit 100 drivers, using CarShare vehicles, to transport patients two and from treatment.  The 10-week pilot program, called PhillyPatientRide, was to be coordinated by PhillyCarShare and the American Cancer Society and funded by four Philly hospitals: Hahnemann, Temple, Jefferson and Penn.

Five months later, PhillyPatientRide has been such a boffo success, a fifth hospital - Pennsylvania - has been added and the program will now be permanently funded by the American Cancer Society.

PhillyCarShare's Gerald Furgione tells me that, as of today:

  • 1,000 rides have been fulfilled
  • 111 volunteer drivers have been trained and are ready to drive (interestingly, about 50%  are university students)
  • 202 additional individuals have inquired about the volunteer opportunity
  • 100% of patients served by PhillyPatientRide said that they would recommend the program to other patients

Hats off, PhillyCarShare, for an outside-the-box idea whose time was way overdue. 

For info about the program or to volunteer, contact Natasha Boothman .

To inquire about a ride, contact


Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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