As the aging population in the country continues to grow exponentially, so does the need for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services. To meet this demand, Tootl Transport is planning to provide the country with reliable wheelchair accessible rides by opening franchises nationwide.

The Inspiring story Behind Tootl Transport

While working within the NEMT services industry in the early 2000s, Michelle Dacy was troubled by her observations that most NEMT businesses were focused more on quantity of rides instead of quality of service and customer care. Harnessing her entrepreneurial spirit, Dacy decided to do take control of the steering wheel. In 2012, she formed her own wheelchair accessible transportation company in Chicago, putting passenger compassion and quality customer service above all else.

As positive reviews spread, Dacy’s NEMT business grew each year in revenues, with dozens of nursing homes, rehab centers, schools and individual families booking recurring rides across the entire Chicagoland area. Each day, Dacy felt inspired knowing the business was improving lives and filling a much-needed service in the community. Her husband, Tom Dacy, joined the business to help her continue to expand across the area.

Then, one fateful day in March 2020 while chatting during a walk with Debra Vilchis, her friend since childhood, Dacy confided to Vilchis a vision to take the business national. Her goal was to improve as many lives as possible by providing access to quality and reliable transportation for people of all abilities across the country. Vilchis – having 24 years’ experience in the franchising sector and serving as president of a well-known franchise public relations firm – connected Dacy with franchise industry veterans Steve Greenbaum and Brad Fishman to help turn her dream into reality.


Franchising Experts See High Demand, Recognize a Gem

Greenbaum and Fishman were impressed with Dacy’s business model. With no direct competitors at the national brand level, strong growth potential, and low-overhead in the booming NEMT sector, they dove in to become investors and advisors. Their first move was a rebrand to the catchy name Tootl Transport. Next, in January of 2021, they launched a corporate-owned Tootl Transport in Milwaukee, WI. During the past two years, the Milwaukee location exceeded all business expectations – even during the peak of COVID and under the most challenging external economic conditions.


According to Insight Partners, the U.S. non-emergency medical transportation market is expected to nearly double from over $8.6 million in 2021 to $15.5 million by 2028. This growth is attributed to the countrys increasing aging population and an expanding need for routine medical treatments and care.

Tootl fills this demand, offering specialized transportation services to anyone (youths, adults and seniors) with temporary or permanent mobility or cognitive challenges, transporting them safely anywhere they need to go, including doctor appointments, rehabilitation sessions, school, grocery shopping, family gatherings and more. Tootl also partners with hospitals and residential facilities, bringing residents and patients to and from appointments and family gatherings.

„Our niche is providing transportation with exceptional service standards for people of all abilities,” Michelle Dacy said. This is what everyone wants for their loved ones. We are grateful for the opportunity to expand this much-needed service to people everywhere, and blessed to have the backing of franchising experts like Steve and Brad to help us make it happen.”

Franchising Opportunity

In February of 2023, Tootl announced the offering of franchise opportunities in select markets around the country. The strategy is to grow with single and multi-unit franchisees who have an entrepreneurial spirit, great interpersonal and organizational skills and a strong desire to serve their communities. Experience in the health care industry is a benefit, but not required. Including the franchise fee, the initial investment for a Tootl single territory franchise is between $78,400-$97,400.


With Tootl team’s decades of experience in NEMT, healthcare and franchise industries, Tootl franchisees will receive robust initial and ongoing training and full-on marketing and operations support at every level. In addition, franchisees will be able to simply operate nearly every aspect of their business with Tootl Go, the franchise brands proprietary online business management system that’s under development. Franchisees will also benefit from a great work-life balance and organizational culture.

We are extremely proud of the fact that we live by our core values; Trust, Respect, Empathy, and Kindness, which spells out TREK,” Michelle Dacy noted. We chose these values because each one is important to us as it relates to our customers. Even more, a trek can be a difficult journey. Our goal is to take the difficulty out of the journey — especially for those that live with difficulties every day.”