Dial-A-Ride is a town funded transportation program operated through the Department of Senior and Disabled Center Services. With wheelchair accessible buses, it offers affordable, accessible transportation to Newington residents who are seniors or who have a disability. It is operated according to policies and procedures that permit it to serve as many people as possible in a fair, efficient manner.
Scope of Service
Dial-A-Ride is a curb to curb service. This means that passengers must be able to enter and exit the vehicle and their home on their own or with the assistance of an escort provided by the passenger. Our drivers cannot assist individuals in or out of their homes. Our social workers are available to discuss special needs and alternative transportation with passengers.
Drivers will assist passengers in wheelchairs onto the lift and into the bus. All wheelchairs must have a lap belt. Drivers will secure wheelchairs. Passengers using motor scooters must transfer to a seat.
Vehicles are not available for emergency medical transportation.
Dial-A-Ride may be used by any Newington resident who is aged 55 or older or who has a disability in accordance with the American’s with Disabilities Act of 1990. Residents wishing to use the service must complete an application and sign a Dial-A-Ride passenger agreement. Once approved, passengers will be registered with the service. If staff determine that Dial-A-Ride is not appropriate, residents will be referred to alternative transportation.
Destinations within the Town of Newington, in order of priority, include:
- Medical appointments
- To and from the Senior and Disabled Center for nutrition or other programs
- Grocery Shopping (scheduled days only)
- To and from Public Service Agencies
- Personal business (hairdresser, lawyer, etc.)
- Other shopping (scheduled days only)
- Recreation, Social Visits
The current Dial-A-Ride schedule of regular trips is available at the Senior and Disabled Center. Please refer to this schedule when making appointments or planning your trips. This schedule is subject to change. Special trips may be offered periodically and will be advertised in the Connection, the Center’s monthly newsletter.
Hours of Operation
The Dial-A-Ride office is open Monday through Friday, except statutory holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Rides may only be booked in accordance with the current daily schedule.
Dial-A-Ride operates by a reservation system. Registered passengers may call the reservation line at 860-665-8779 or 860-667-5836 (TDD). This is an automated system. Please follow the directions on the opposite page to make your reservation.
Reservations will be taken up to 3 p.m. the working day before you wish to travel. Reservations will be taken on a first come first serve basis with consideration given to priority destinations.
Every effort will be made to accommodate appointment times. In order to make this possible your requested pick up time should be at least a half-hour before your appointment and in accordance with the current daily schedule. If we are unable to accommodate you, we will make every effort to notify you.
If you use Dial-A-Ride for the same trip each week: time, day and destination; we can make a permanent reservation for you. You will only need to call us when you don’t need the ride!
On the Day of Your Ride
Every effort will be made to pick you up at your requested time. Please allow 15 minutes before and after your requested time for the driver to arrive. If the driver anticipates that your actual pick up time will be more than 15 minutes from the time you requested; efforts will be made to contact you.
The driver will signal his/her arrival by sounding the horn. If you do not come out, efforts will be made to contact you by telephone. If we are unable to reach you, we may call the ‘person to notify’ on file or emergency services to determine your location and well being.
If you have not specified a return time, call the office when you are ready to be picked up at 860-665-8778. If possible, give us a telephone number where you can be reached. Bear in mind that the drivers are busy and your return pick up may take up to a half-hour. Efforts will be made to inform you of greater delays.
If it becomes necessary to cancel your reservation, call the office at 860-665-8778 as soon as possible. Drivers are not responsible for schedules, so please do not make reservations or cancellations with them. Repeated no-shows will result in a loss of service.
If transportation is delayed or cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies, every effort will be made to notify you. Dial-A-Ride does not operate in inclement weather. If service is cancelled, efforts will be made to contact you as well as being announced on WTIC 1080 AM and Channel 3.
There is a charge for each one-way ride and is payable by purchasing a Dial-A-Ride pass good for 25 rides. Passes can be purchased from the office in person or by sending a check in the mail. Drivers can not take cash and do not carry passes.
Dial-A-Ride drivers, as employees of the Town of Newington, are strictly prohibited from taking tips or gifts.
In order to provide a safe, efficient service, passengers are required to abide by the rules and guidelines provided in this booklet. Failure to do so may result in a loss of service. They include:
- You must remain seated and wear a seat belt. Drivers can assist as needed.
- Driveways and walks must be cleared of snow, ice or other hazards.
- You cannot take more than 3 parcels on the vehicle. Drivers are not allowed to assist in carrying parcels.
- Do not call drivers directly.
- Be ready on time.
- Call to cancel rides.
- Be respectful of drivers and fellow passengers.
- Drivers may, with approval from the Director or designate, refuse transportation to an individual if there is a safety concern due to illness, intoxication, uncleared walks or driveways, unreasonable behavior or other concerns.