General Public Demand Response Service
Advance reservation demand response service to the general public is provided by COAST on a space available basis. Individuals do not need to individually apply for the services.
For complete information about this service, please view the Service Guide.
Who can use this service?
Anyone. Individuals who are 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
When does the service operate?
Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM, except on COAST recognized holidays, or if COAST closes due to inclement weather or other emergencies which may preclude service from operating.
Saturday service will become an option, when staffing allows.
Where can I travel to?
All trips may originate and must remain within any of the following communities: Farmington, Rochester, Somersworth, Dover, Durham, Lee, Barrington, Madbury, Rollinsford, Newington, Portsmouth, Greenland, Newmarket, Stratham, or Exeter in New Hampshire, or Berwick, South Berwick, Eliot, or Kittery in Maine.
Trip requests must be made at least the business day before by 5:00pm to allow for scheduling. At COAST's sole discretion, standing order trip requests may be accepted. Reservation requests are accepted by TripLink Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8am and 5pm by either phone or email. when making a reservation, please provide the rider's name, any PCA or guest information and numbers, pick-up and drop-off locations, the time they need to be picked up OR dropped off (whichever is most important), a contact number, and any mobility information, such as whether they use a wheelchair or a walker.
For more details on reservations please refer to the Service Guide.
Reservation Windows - How Our Scheduling Works
When making a reservation riders can request to prioritize either the time to be picked up, or the time to be dropped off. Every individual ride scheduled must prioritize on or the other and cannot prioritize both. Our reservationists can select which end of the ride is more important to you.
Pick-ups and drop-offs may be adjusted by up to an hour in order to fit them into the schedule, though we always work to keep the adjustment as minimal as possible, and our average adjustment is much lower than this. However, we will only adjust times in the direction that preserves the time riders are trying to prioritize. For a further description on how this works, please refer to the Service Guide.
Many customers find it works best to schedule the ride from their original departure point going out as a drop-off priority, and the ride back to their final destination as a pick-up priority. This best allows the rider to control the times they are at their destination.
Reservations may be made weeks in advance of a ride. However, the schedule is created by COAST the night before. The scheduled pick-up window for each ride will be ready around 6:00pm the evening before. Customers are typically informed of these via an automated call.
In certain instances, COAST may also have to request same day schedule changes to accommodate unanticipated changes to the schedule. In such instances, every effort will be made to advise riders of the change(s) as soon as they are known.
Shared Ride Service
All COAST demand response services are operated as a shared ride service in conjunction with other COAST shared ride, demand response services. This means there may be multiple customers on the vehicle at a time, and those customers may be riding under a variety of programs and funding sources. Customers are not guaranteed a direct ride between their origin and destination; rather, the vehicle may deviate to pick-up or drop-off other customers. COAST takes great care to ensure the ride times or each customer are reasonable and comfortable, and uses specialized software to help create those schedules, monitor them in real time, make adjustments as necessary, and monitor the outcomes for quality and service.
By grouping rides from multiple programs in this way, COAST can increase efficient use of resourcesss. In addition, many customers enjoy the social nature of the trip.
How much does it cost?
- Each ride on a weekday (Monday - Friday) will be billed at $10.00, plus $5.88 per direct mile. (Example: a ride of 2.5 direct miles would cost $24.70, or $10.00, plus 2.5 times $5.88)
- Each no-show will be billed at $10.00. A customer with a no-show ma pay the fee at the time of the next ride along with the rest of their fare. The no-show fee plus the full fare will be required to be paid for the customer to board. If a customer no-shows a trip when they already have a no-show on record, future rides will not be scheduled until previous no-shows have been paid.
- Each rider may have one individual personal care attendant (PCA) or guest to assist with their mobility, healthcare, or other needs free of charge. Additional guests riding with the rider will be charged $10.00 per person.
To ensure clear understanding of the cost structure, here are definitions of relevant terms.
- Ride - a ride is a single one-way pick-up and drop-off. A round trip would then typically consist of two or more rides.
- Direct Mile - the number of miles between the pick-up and drop-off address of a particular ride along the shortest public and reasonable route, as calculated by COAST's trip scheduling software. Direct mileage is consistent for a ride between two point regardless of the route the vehicle actually travels while performing share ride services. Direct miles are calculated separately for each passenger. Therefore, two passengers each sharing a ride for a trip with a direct mileage of two mile would equal four billable direct miles.
- No-Show - is define by COAST as when a rider has a trip scheduled and: (1) the vehicle arrives on time, but the rider no longer wants the ride and cancels; or (2) the vehicle arrives on time, but the driver cannot locate the rider at the requested pick-up location; or (3) the vehicle arrives on time, and waits for 5 minutes, but the rider is not ready to go; or (4) the riders or rider representative calls to cancel a scheduled tri less than 2 hours before the start of the scheduled pick-up window. No-shows are not counted for circumstances deemed to be out of the control of the rider or rider representative, such as a doctor's office canceling an appointment at the last minute.