Ford is taking its GoRide patient transport service nationwide

The automaker will start with more Ohio cities and Miami, Florida.

Ford has slowly but surely been expanding GoRide's reach ever since it launched the non-emergency medical transportation service. Now, the automaker has revealed its plans to deploy the system to 40 cities nationwide over the next four years after a testing period in Southeast Michigan (Detroit included) and Toledo, Ohio. It will start by expanding its vans' availability to Ohio cities Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus later this year -- not surprising, since it's already in Toledo. Miami, Florida residents will be able to book rides for their doctors' appointments by the end of 2019, as well.

In 2020, Ford plans to take its service to more states, including North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and California. It'll most likely be confined to urban areas, though, since Ford is still figuring out how to effectively make GoRide available in rural locations. Even so, the company expects to deploy 130 vans by the end of 2019 and over 200 by the end of 2020.

Those aren't enormous numbers, but they could be a good start to a niche service that only intends to fill a gap and compete with smaller medical transport offerings by ride-hailing giants. GoRide drivers are trained to safely assist passengers with medical needs, after all, and they have wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Minyang Jiang, CEO of GoRide Health, said:

"GoRide Health is gaining momentum because it is a reliable, human-centered service for people whose very lives depend on making their medical appointments. Despite a critical and growing need across our country, most patients are unable to find reliable transportation and drivers who understand their needs. GoRide Health can fill that gap."