ELLSWORTH — Downeast Community Partners’ Transportation Division provides rides to residents of Washington and Hancock counties. The division has 27 vehicles that connect people with transportation to medical facilities, food pantries, grocery stores and other rides.
Currently, DCP is experiencing funding issues for the program due to low ridership.
For people living in rural Maine, accessing rides to medical appointments or the grocery store can be a challenge. The most affected groups, according to DCP, are older adults who cannot drive for various reasons and low-income people who cannot afford a vehicle, gas, insurance or repairs. To help bridge this gap, DCP has provided rides for over 40 years.
By any measure, Washington County is rural. With a land mass of 2,563 square miles, that works out to an average of 12 people per square mile. Hancock County’s land area is 1,587 square miles with 35 people per square mile, on average. Residents of islands and peninsulas can experience particular geographic difficulties.
During the pandemic, DCP drivers are wearing masks. Vehicles are sanitized per CDC guidelines and every time a vehicle is empty. There have been zero reported cases of COVID among riders or staff.
Anyone interested in transportation can call (877) 374-8396 or 664-0012 to learn more and schedule your ride.