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To provide non-emergency transportation for low-income, disabled, elderly and general population residents of Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc counties and the towns of Brunswick and Harpswell.
Coastal Trans is a division of Methodist Conference Home, Inc. which has been providing services to elderly and disabled residents of the midcoast region since 1965.
Methodist Conference Home (MCH) provides subsidized housing, runs the Knox County Meals on Wheels program, provides services to residents to help them live independently, as well as operates Coastal Trans.
Volunteer drivers are reimbursed a per mile rate and offered an attractive incentive package to offset expenses and time. Please contact Coastal Trans for current reimbursement rates.
Transportation in the midcoast area began in 1975, when several "Sea ME" vans from the local area agency on aging serviced the transportation needs of the elderly. With limited funding, it was difficult for the agency to operate the vehicles, and in the 1970s MCH assumed responsibility for the program in Knox County.
The transportation program grew during the 1980s with the addition of Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties, and the towns of Brunswick and Harpswell. As more funding became available, the program expanded its scope to become the regional transit provider for the Maine Department of Transportation's Region 5.
MCH incorporated Coastal Trans as a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation in 1986 in order to take advantage of funding opportunities, such as the gas tax rebate, and funding for capital equipment.
Today transportation is provided using Coastal Trans vans, a number of which are handicap accessible, and private automobiles driven by volunteers. Numerous trips are provided each day with approximately 2 million miles of service rendered annually to the elderly, disabled, children, and an increasingly large number of the general public.
In 2005 Coastal Trans launched the Door to Door program which provides rides to elderly clients in Knox County at about half the cost of a taxi service. The organization is also looking to partner with local businesses and non-profits to expand transportation opportunities in the region, including after school and intergenerational programs.
- Christine Cammelieri
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