|Who can use this option?||
|How much does it cost?||Free, but a $4 donation each way is appreciated|
|When is this option available?||Monday thru Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
|How far ahead do you need to plan?||You must call at least 3 days in advance. However, the more notice you can provide the better.|
|What accommodations are available?||
|Notes||If you live in Brookline, they will not take you to Brookline destinations--but they will take you to Boston, Newton, etc.|
|Contact details||Call 1-800-427-0230 between 9 am and 3 pm at least three business days in advance.
Busy Bee Transportation Service
How well does the option serve seniors in terms of destinations, hours, frequency, and timing?
Busy Bee Transportation is a 33 year old wheelchair-accessible free medical transportation service for seniors 60 and older. Medical appointments include doctor and hospital visits, dentist and vision appointments, and physical and mental health therapy.
There are no requirements other than age. No pre-registration is required to schedule rides and use the service but the driver may ask to see an ID card to verify age. You may have an escort or assistant travel with you.
Service is available Monday thru Friday from 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM. There is no weekend service. "Turn Downs"--requests for service that cannot be scheduled--are very rare. In a passenger survey in March 2016, 99% of the returns rated the service is excellent. Doctor's appointments must be scheduled no earlier than 10:00 AM and no later than 2:00 PM to ensure a ride each way.
You may schedule free medical transportation anywhere in Busy Bee's service area of Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Boston, Cambridge, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley and Weston. The driver will pick you up anywhere in the service area (for instance at your home or Senior Center), bring you to your appointment, and bring you back after your appointment is completed. Busy Bee is a shared-ride service so you may meet new friends while you travel.
To schedule a ride, call 1-800-427-0230 at least three days before the appointment. If you have repetitive appointments or schedule appointments several weeks in advance, you may call Busy Bee up to 30 days in advance. Provide Busy Bee with your pickup and drop-off locations and the time the appointment starts and the time it is expected to be over. Before you call, check with the medical provider if you don't know how long the visit will take.
Busy Bee will schedule the pick-up and return times by the next evening. You then call the morning one day before your appointment to get your scheduled pick up and return times. The service cannot accommodate same-day requests.
Once you get to your appointment, it is usually a very good idea to inform the receptionist or nurse that you must be finished in time for your return ride. In most cases, drivers can only wait five minutes and will be unable to return. If you are running late, call Busy Bee as soon as you know you may not be ready at the scheduled return time. Busy Bee may be able to have the driver change his pick up schedule or wait a few minutes longer.
From a senior perspective, how comfortable and convenient is this option?
The vans are garaged in Ashland in a modern facility and the company has its own mechanic who washes and services the vehicles. Each vehicle goes through a short inspection in the morning, to assure that everything, including the lift, is working properly.
Drivers are employees, not volunteers.
No “passenger training” or orientation sessions are available, but given this is a curb-to-curb service, such training should not be necessary.
What kinds of assistance and support are offered to seniors?
This is a curb-to-curb service. The driver will pick you up at the curb in front of your residence (or other designated pick-up location) and take you to to the curb at the address of any medically-related appointment. When the appointment is over, at the return time assigned by Busy Bee, the driver will pick you up and bring you home.
This service can accommodate passengers with nearly any level of mobility. Chair cars are available for those who use wheelchairs.
How flexible can this the option be in accommodating uncommon or special requests and requirements?
Escorts are not available, but a medical escort or companion arranged for by the passenger can accompany the passenger for no additional charge. Two passengers cannot travel together--this service is for individuals traveling to personal medical appointments.
Trip-chaining (i.e., making multiple stops on a single trip) is not available. This service is for medical appointments only and is a curb-to-curb service.
Pets are not allowed, except for service animals.
Busy Bee does not offer service to “special destinations” or outside of usual hours.
Busy Bee staff speak English. No service or support in other languages are available.
How much does this option cost, how can seniors pay for it, and how is the option funded?
The service is free, supported by The Area Agency on Aging, but a $4.00 donation is appreciated. You may leave a cash donation with the driver or send a check to Busy Bee. Donations are accepted any time. No membership fee is required.