Brenda Bonney, a rider with Harpswell Aging at Home’s transportation program, enjoys the time she spends with Hugh Hardcastle, coordinator of the program and one of HAH’s drivers. (Barbara Mark photo)

Do you remember taking long trips by car as a child? Maybe you were coming to Maine, maybe even to Harpswell. Perhaps now you are grandparents, and your grandchildren are the ones taking the long road trips, possibly enjoying car bingo with those specially made cards for road trips. Bingo passed the time while someone else did the driving, transporting you to a special place.

As we all know, transportation is important no matter our age, especially in later years when we are no longer driving ourselves, yet still need rides to places like the doctor’s office, the grocery store, the library, a class or some other place. When that happens, Harpswell Aging at Home can help.

Hugh Hardcastle coordinates transportation for HAH, among his many other roles around town. Hugh, along with the other volunteer drivers, emphatically states that he receives much more than he gives when driving people to destinations in and around Harpswell.

The rides are often a social treat for both driver and rider. One frequent rider loves to share delightful stories. Another, Brenda Bonney, who has lived in Harpswell for a few decades, said that she likes “getting to know people and making new friends. All the drivers are really nice, and I enjoy the company.” Still another person, who needed transportation when they had a broken bone, became a driver when they recovered.

HAH started giving rides late in 2016. From those first trips through the end of 2022, HAH has provided 3,099 rides totaling 50,094 miles! Hugh, a numbers person, says that is equal to circumnavigating the globe two times. 2023’s numbers are already surpassing those of 2022.

Rather than starting from scratch or competing with other programs, HAH partners with successful programs in the area, such as People Plus in Brunswick. People Plus conducts background checks for HAH drivers. The background check includes a review of motor vehicle records and criminal records in any state where the driver has lived.

Rides are free, and there are several ways to request a ride. One way is via the website Click on “Volunteer Transportation Network” in the drop-down menu under “Outreach.”  Here you will find rider registration forms and procedures to request a ride, as well as eligibility information and other details.

You may also phone Lynne at People Plus, 207-729-0757 ext. 105, to receive the necessary items by mail, or provide Lynne with your registration information on the phone. Once you are registered, getting a ride is easy — just phone Lynne with your request at least three business days ahead of your desired ride.

HAH has about 10 active drivers. Please note that volunteer drivers are always welcome. See the People Plus website. Scheduling is easy, and the best thing is, you can drive as little or as much as you like — once a month, once a week or more often.