SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio City Council will consider a proposed ordinance Thursday offering victims in non-emergency medical situations an easier, and possibly cheaper, way of getting to the hospital.

The ordinance would forge a partnership between the city and Yellow Cab to offer “non-emergency EMS patients with a city-sponsored means of transportation to appropriate hospital facilities.” The potential payoff: More flexibility and less pressure for first responders to get to scenes requiring more of a traditional emergency response.

And, for patients, a ride to the hospital free of charge, along with one other passenger.

According to a draft of the ordinance, Yellow Cab was the sole company that responded to a Request for Competitive Sealed Proposals to provide such a service as part of the San Antonio Fire Department’s Taxi Voucher Program.

“The…goal is to increase EMS unit availability by conserving vital emergency response resources, while continuing to assist the citizens of San Antonio in obtaining appropriate and timely medical care,” the RFCSP states. 

The request states the service would be available 24/7, including over holidays, and the cab must arrive at the patient within 30 minutes of an initial call to be made by San Antonio EMS.  

If passed, the initiative is estimated to cost the city $50,000 a year. The contract would run through September, 2022, “with options for the city to renew for two additional one-year periods.”