Who is eligible to use Neighbor Ride?
Passengers must be 60 years of age, be a resident of Howard County, and must be able to get in and out of a vehicle independently. Neighbor Ride cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Proof of residency and age may be requested.
How does this service work?
Passengers are transported door to door by volunteer drivers in their personal vehicles. For liability reasons, drivers may not accompany passengers into their homes (except for accompanied shopping rides). Passengers must be physically and cognitively able to conduct their own personal business once they are at their destination.
If a spouse, friend or assistant accompanies me, is there an additional fee?
There are no additional fees for anyone traveling from the same location and traveling to the same destination. Note: A Passenger Waiver form for each additional passenger must be on file in the office before the ride can be scheduled. NR cannot transport anyone under 8 yrs. of age.
For what types of rides can I use Neighbor Ride (NR)?
Passengers may utilize NR for religious services, classes, volunteer activities, social outings, medical appointments, and shopping, both accompanied and unaccompanied. NR does not provide rides to the airport, cruise terminals, Amtrak stations or gaming venues. Passengers are eligible for a maximum of 12 rides per month.
When are rides available?
NR provides rides daily, depending on the availability of volunteer drivers. Please note the office is closed on all major holidays and the ride request schedule is adjusted accordingly.
Will NR provide transportation to destinations outside of the county?
Yes. Our maximum one way driving distance is 35 miles from pick up. Please schedule longer distance and rush hour rides as early as possible as there are fewer drivers for these rides.
When can I schedule my first ride?
Passengers can schedule their first ride once they receive a phone call informing them their submitted paperwork has been completed and accounts have been established. A welcome package will be mailed.
What if I only need a one-way ride?
NR accommodates one-way ride requests. The fare is the same as for a roundtrip ride. Trips to bus or metro stations are one-way take only.
How do I schedule a ride?
Passengers must contact Neighbor Ride by phone at 410-884-7433 or through our web site www.NeighborRide.org at least three (3) full business days in advance to schedule trip(s). For example, if you need a ride on Friday, you must call Monday before 2:00 p.m. to schedule. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Messages left on the answering machine after 2:00 p.m. and on Sundays are returned the next business day. Passengers must provide the pick-up time, appointment time, number of passengers, destination address, zip code, telephone #, and estimated return trip time. Medical appointments require the doctor’s name, group practice name, and phone number. For appointments at hospitals or clinics, passengers need to also provide department.
What information is needed before using NR?
Passengers must complete a Passenger Registration, Waiver, and Agreement form and create a transportation account by sending in $45 ($20 is a non-refundable registration fee and $25 is deposited in your transportation account).
Fee Schedule (effective 1/1/18)
|One-Way Mileage||Roundtrip Fee|
|Under 3 miles||$8.00|
|3 – 4.99 miles||$10.00|
|5 – 6.99||$12.00|
|7 – 9.99 miles||$16.00|
|10 – 14.99 miles||$22.00|
|15 – 19.99 miles||$28.00|
|20 – 35 miles||$36.00|
How do I pay the trip fees?
Passengers are required to pre-pay for rides by establishing an account that can be replenished as needed. Checks or money orders, (no cash) should be made payable to Neighbor Ride, and mailed to: 5570 Sterrett Pl., #102, Columbia, MD 21044. Note passenger’s name on check. Drivers are prohibited from taking payments.
Note: Passengers on a limited income may qualify for subsidized rides via the Good Neighbor Fund (GNF). A GNF application is included in the registration packet. Proof of income is required.
Credit card payments in $50 or $100 increments can be made to individual passenger accounts via our website (www.neighborride.org). To offset the cost of accepting credit card payments, modest convenience fees are added to online payments.
What if I am running late or want to make an unscheduled stop?
Drivers are not permitted to make unscheduled stops. One additional stop of less than one hour between the pickup and destination can be scheduled at the time the ride is requested. Drivers may be scheduled for multiple rides, so it is important that passengers meet them at the prearranged time and place for pick-up and return. Medical appointments vary in length; try to estimate for the longest possible visit time.
What happens if no driver is found?
While every effort is made to find a volunteer driver, there is no guarantee that each ride will be filled. Passengers will be called 2 business days before the ride if a driver has not be found to see if the ride is still needed. Passengers will be contacted by 2 pm the day before the ride if no driver is found. Passengers will not be charged for unassigned rides.
What if I need to cancel a scheduled trip?
Please cancel as early as possible so the driver can be notified. Passengers are not charged for cancelled trips. Please note: Repeated cancellations or no shows inconvenience our drivers, and impact our ability to serve our passengers. Repeated cancellations or no shows may result in a suspension or termination of service per our Excessive Cancellation/No Show Policy.
How are the volunteer drivers chosen?
Each driver has attended orientation, passed a criminal background check, a driving record check and a personal reference check.
When should I use the emergency line?
When the NR office is closed leave a message on the emergency line only for the following circumstances:
- If you need to cancel a ride scheduled to take place within the next 12 hours or over the weekend.
- If you were not contacted by your driver the night before your scheduled ride.
- If your driver has not arrived at the scheduled time.
What is NR’s inclement weather policy?
To ensure the safety of our drivers and passengers, either the driver or the passenger may cancel a ride. If the driver is willing to drive in questionable weather, the driver will contact the passenger to confirm that he/she still wants the ride. If the ride is cancelled, please contact the NR office. If possible, the NR office will remain open to handle notification of cancellations.
How will I be able to identify my NR drivers?
Look for the NR sign on the passenger side door of the vehicle and the volunteer’s name badge.
- Smoking, eating & drinking during a ride are prohibited.
- It is against NR policy for our volunteers to accept tips.
- Passengers are expected to pay for tolls and parking on the day of ride.
How can I comment on my experience with NR?
Survey post cards are mailed to passengers after their first ride and every six months thereafter. We appreciate your comments.
May I donate to NR to help ensure services will always be available?
Absolutely! Your tax-deductible donations are gratefully accepted. You may also consider a Legacy Gift. Contact our Executive Director, Bruce Fulton, at 410-884-7433 for more information.
Neighbor Ride is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transportation services on the basis of race, color or national origin, as protected by Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 7/1/17