Mobilize Katahdin has provided services across the Katahdin region ranging from grocery delivery to financial assistance for food, fuel, and medicine since March 2020. Recently, we began driving riders anywhere within the Katahdin region they want to go, such as to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, social events, etc. Drivers have a plastic barrier installed in their cars to separate the front seat from the back seat, wear a face mask and clean the inside of their car before and after each ride. Riders are asked to respond to screening questions about their health, to wear a mask (provided if needed), and to follow other safety measures.
While some local transportation options exist, many in need of transportation are falling through the cracks. A recent study by University of Maine Center on Aging found that transportation services are not meeting the needs of community members, and it will only get worse. “Whether due to cost, schedule, or stigma, we know that for many people, unreliable transportation impacts grocery shopping, medical appointments, and social life,” says Matt DeLaney of Millinocket Memorial Library. “Until we tackle this, it will be impossible to address other public health issues.”
A local Transportation Navigator is available by phone or email to help individuals plan rides free or charge, and access other affordable transportation options in the region. Additionally, a volunteer driver program will help fill the gaps when other transportation options do not meet current needs.