Sussex Dial-A-Ride Visits Rotary
Pam Kaye of Sussex Dial-A-Ride was Sussex Rotary’s guest speaker for Nov. 14, sharing the joys and challenges of operating an affordable transportation service in the area.
With 48 hours’ notice, riders in need of affordable or accessible service can arrange for trips to necessary destinations via a small team of Sussex Dial-A-Ride volunteer drivers. The organization typically undertakes about 5,000 km. of driving a month, bringing passengers to doctor’s appointments, adult education classes, grocery stores, banks and more....
In-town trips in Sussex and Sussex Corner only cost riders $5, while Saint John medical appointment trips are just $40 round-trip.

Kaye said Sussex Dial-A-Ride doesn’t receive any government subsidies for the service it provides. The bulk of its funding comes from the United Way with the balance coming from individual donations. 

There’s great satisfaction from seeing a person get what they need,” Kaye said, noting that drivers often form close relationships with those they’re driving. 

Most of our drivers do more than just drive,” she said. That can mean helping passengers find their way into hospital appointments, carrying in groceries from the car and providing much-needed company to many passengers who see few other people across the span of their week. 

But while the sense of connection for drivers is rich, Kaye said the service is challenged by rising fuel costs and the overall pressures of inflation. COVID also had a decimating effect on the corps of volunteer drivers, and she said the number has fallen off from the group’s optimal number of ten volunteers. 

Learn more about Sussex Dial-A-Ride, including opportunities to donate or volunteer, here.