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Funding for opioid recovery transportation services

  •   2 min read

These funding sources can help communities provide transportation services to enable access to opioid use disorder recovery and treatment.

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Transportation is an important element of the response to the opioid crisis. Thankfully, communities have a variety of options for providing transportation to opioid use disorder (OUD) recovery and treatment programs. On-demand microtransit programs can be delivered by public transit agencies, local advocacy groups, healthcare providers, or, as in the case of Washington DC, through a collaboration between organizations.

There are also multiple ways to fund a recovery transportation service, including through health and transit-affiliated funding sources across local, state, and federal domains. 

Interested in learning more about how to help your community combat substance or opioid use disorder? Via works with communities every step of the way — from designing transit systems to supporting grant applications for program funding. Reach out to our team at

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

SAMHSA sponsors State Opioid Response (SOR) grants, allocating billions of dollars to states for evidence-based approaches to opioid crisis remediation. The funds are typically administered by states’ Department of Health and Human Services or substance use-specific institutions. Washington DC and West Virginia, for example, are using these funds to provide opioid recovery transportation programs. SAMHSA also provides a variety of other grants for public and nonprofit entities combating the opioid crisis. 

Health Resources and Services Administration

HRSA sponsors the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), which has awarded $298M since 2018 to address rural barriers to treatment of substance use disorder. The funds are available to any public, private, or nonprofit entity.

National Institutes of Health

The NIH’s Heal Initiative provides over $945 million in funding for research projects investigating evidence-based solutions to the opioid crisis. The initiative offers a variety of grants, including for small businesses, universities, and healthcare providers, who can study the impacts of transportation on opioid use.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

The CDC has historically provided funding to address the opioid crisis, including a $155 million award for various states in 2018-2019. The CDC is currently providing $12.5 million in funding for drug-free community efforts focused on local youth. 

McKinsey & Company Settlement 

In February 2021, McKinsey reached a $573 million settlement with 47 states and DC. States are set to receive varying amounts of the settlement to administer for opioid treatment and rehabilitation initiatives. 

Federal Transit Administration 

The FTA supports a variety of grants for transportation. The FTA provides Formula Grants for Rural Areas (with populations less than 50,000) to provide capital, planning, and operating assistance for public transit. The National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) is offering current FTA formula grant recipients to apply for up to $100,000 in funding. The FTA is also providing grants for innovative non-emergency medical transportation services

State Department of Transportation 

There are a variety of ways for state DOTs to engage in recovery transportation, from providing funding to transit infrastructure. For example, Tennessee’s DOT is partnering with Vanderbilt University to fund an 18-month study to understand ways to mitigate the opioid crisis through transportation.

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