- Written by The Good Life Staff
- Published: 05 June 2019
Who to call when you need a ride.
When you aren’t able to drive yourself or find a family member available to help, who can you contact to help transport you from Point A to Point B? There are some helpful resources out there, although they vary depending on where you live. Here are a few resources that may be available.
Demand Response Service is a curb to curb service offered to the following individuals:
- Elders 60 years or older
- Consumers receiving home care services from LifePath, Inc.
- Nursing home residents
- Veterans with a disability rating of 70% or greater
To apply for Demand Response Service, you will need to complete an application and submit it to the FRTA. Hours of operation, cost, and services differ between towns. To contact the FRTA, please call 413-774-2262. The FRTA can send you an application. You will need to request the service at least two full business days in advance. If you live in Leverett or Sunderland, you will need to call the PVTA instead at 1-866-277-7741.
The Med-Ride Program offers transportation to medical appointments outside the county for elders who can walk on their own and are at least 60 years of age. All drivers are volunteers who use their own vehicles. Drivers are allowed to help you into and out of their vehicles, but are not allowed to assist you from your home to their vehicle or from their vehicle into your medical appointment. Also, drivers cannot help with the transport of health-related equipment. A companion may accompany you to help with these transitions. This program is offered through the FRTA and includes the towns of Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Warwick, Wendell, and Whately. You can schedule up to two months in advance, but must schedule at least 3 business days ahead of time. There is a limit of 2 trips per week for this service and you will receive an invoice at the end of each month for 40 cents per mile plus any parking or toll fees. The Med-Ride Program only transports to locations inside Massachusetts.
Of course, there are also the FRTA’s fixed routes. If you are computer savvy, you can visit the FRTA website (or call 413-774-2262) to find out about specific routes and costs. About Town Taxi is also available in Greenfield at 413-774-4000.
Athol residents who are at least 60 years of age or disabled can contact MART about “Council-On-Aging Transportation” at 978-575-9966. If you live in a neighboring community, MART can direct you to the proper number for your town, or you can visit the MART website for a listing of contact numbers for towns in the MART service area. If you are a veteran in Athol and need transportation to the Northampton Veterans Administration, you can contact the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center at 978-632-9601 for their schedule. In addition, MART has its usual Athol/Orange shuttles every hour on the hour during weekdays. Winchendon Taxi at 978-297-1311 also offers transportation services in the Athol/Orange area.
For MassHealth Standard and CommonHealth members, there is a free non-emergency transportation service available to medical appointments if the appointments themselves will be covered by MassHealth. The first step to receive this free transportation is for your Primary Care Physician to fill out a Prescription for Transportation (PT-1) which they will need to fax to MassHealth for approval. Your best bet is to contact your PCP for more information.
Hulmes Transportation Services at 413-323-6100 offers wheelchair-accessible transportation at $100 round trip plus $3 per mile.
LifePath also has a volunteer escorted transportation program, Rides for Health, for active Home Care clients only. Call LifePath to see if the Home Care program might be right for you.
These are just a few of the services that can get you from Point A to Point B. Contact the Information and Referral Department at LifePath at 413-773-5555, extension 1230, with any questions.