St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Getting around

Times Staff
Published August 25, 2003

Some older people find regular bus systems hard, if not impossible, to navigate. To help people get around, various government and private agencies provide door-to-door rides for little or no fees.

The list below offers a partial summary of those services. It does not include transportation of Medicaid beneficiaries to doctor visits. It does not include social service agencies that transport clients to their programs. It does not include hospitals, clinics, churches or other volunteer groups that offer free transportation.

Most of these services transport people who use wheelchairs as well as ambulatory people.

Demand Response (formerly DART)

Service: Door-to-door rides for any purpose, anywhere regular buses travel in the county.

Hours: Same as PSTA bus service hours in each neighborhood.

Cost: $2.50 each way. (Caregivers ride free.)

Eligibility: Unable to use regular bus system. Must register in advance.

Reservations: Before 5 p.m. the day before.

Phone: (727) 530-9921, then press 2.

GEMS-Gulfport

Service: Door-to-door rides within Gulfport and as far north as 38th Avenue N. Daily trips to South Pasadena shopping area and downtown St. Petersburg. Monthly trips to Tyrone Square Mall and Wal-Mart.

Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Cost: $3 each way. Unlimited rides for $120 a year.

Eligibility: Gulfport resident 55 or older.

Reservations: 48 hours in advance.

Phone: (727) 893-2242.

Community transportation

Service: Door-to-door rides anywhere for doctor visits, grocery shopping, employment and job-related education.

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cost: $3 each way.

Eligibility: Unable to ride the regular bus. Cannot afford or secure private transportation. Income must not exceed twice the federal poverty line (about $1,340 per month for one person). Must register in advance.

Reservations: 48 hours in advance.

Phone: (727) 545-2100.

American Red Cross

Service: Door-to-door trips for medical appointments and therapies.

Hours: Mornings only. Return trips must begin no later than 11:30 a.m.

Cost: Free (donations accepted).

Eligibility: Anyone who is ambulatory and needs help.

Reservations: Two weeks in advance.

Phone: Upper Pinellas, (727) 446-2358; Lower Pinellas, (727) 898-3111.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.