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For Immediate Release
May 28, 1999

Contact:
Beryl Wolfe
(207) 775-5115


RTP Launches New Transportation Service Where One Call - 774-2666 - Does it All

Regional Transportation Program (RTP), a Portland-based community transportation provider, has launched a new program called "Rider's Choice," which allows area residents to call one telephone number - 774-2666 - to find out about public transportation services in Cumberland County.

For a brochure, Cumberland County residents can call 774-2666.

The program is part of a new contract RTP received from the Maine Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. The new service also expands RTP's current dispatch hours by two hours, enabling them to serve callers from 5:30 a.m until 7 p.m. weekdays.

"The service, which is new to Maine, allows us to match callers with the most appropriate transportation choices that meet their needs," said Jon McNulty, executive director of RTP and the current president of the statewide Maine Transportation Association. "This model has been very successful in other parts of the country. And it works very well with a diverse population."

Headquartered at 127 St. John St., RTP is a United Way agency that provides door-to- door transportation to the elderly, social service agency clients, the economically disadvantaged and persons with disabilities in Cumberland County. RTP serves more than 26 towns in the county, including Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Gorham, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, Windham, Standish, Casco, Bridgton and others.

The new service allows consumers limited access to services nights, weekends and holidays. When persons call 774-2666, RTP dispatchers match the transportation needs of the caller with the most appropriate and affordable public transit systems. These could be RTP, METRO, South Portland Bus System, PROP or other existing transportation services.

RTP will be working in partnership with several agencies to provide the service, including AMISTAD, a mental health support organization, Ingraham Volunteers and the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

Established in 1976, RTP today has 20 buses and eight vans serving the region, and also provides rides through an extensive volunteer driver program. Specific RTP Services include door-to-door rides through a county-wide bus service, the Senior Shoppers Express, Access to Health Care and the ADAPT program for disabled persons who need rides to public transportation services in Westbrook, South Portland and Portland.

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