Bedford DASH - pilot local transportation project

Announcing the launch of our Pilot Local Transportation Project!!

Bedford DASH

The Bedford DASH is a two-year pilot program to launch a resident on-demand shuttle in the Town of Bedford.  The project is funded by the Town of Bedford in cooperation with Middlesex 3 Transportation Management Association and a $47,000 federal transportation grant through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Community Transit Program.  Through the new service, Town of Bedford officials hope to not only increase transit ridership generally but also to attract new riders, including seniors, people with disabilities, and school-aged youth, who may not have used public transit before.

781-275-DASH (3274)

  www.bedforddash.com

The DASH Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

When and how will the DASH operate?

DASH will operate weekdays from noon to 6:00 p.m., except for designated holidays, as a dial a ride on-demand service. Bedford residents can phone in a request for a ride to the Dispatch line at 781-275-DASH(3274)   A live dispatcher is available to take your call from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. If you call after 4:00 PM you will connect with our voicemail and your message will be retrieved the following morning.  Cancellations must be made by 4:00 PM the day before the booked trip. Passengers will be responsible for the fare on all trips that are cancelled late or for no-shows.  You can also make a request for a ride online at www.bedforddash.com.  TransAction Corporate Shuttles of Woburn will be operating the DASH.

What is dial-a-ride on-demand service?

A dial-a-ride service means the schedule for the van is different every day. Passengers call or use the website to book trips and they are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. That means the sooner you call us to book your trip, the more likely you will be to get the time you request. We hope that you will be patient as our goal is to make the service available to as many people as possible. That means that from time to time we may ask if you can adjust your pick-up or drop-off time slightly so that we can accommodate more passengers.

How much will the ride cost? 

Rides for adults ages 18 to 64 are $2.00 each way in Bedford and $4.00 each way outside of Bedford.  For youth under 18, seniors, Medicare card holders, and Veterans the cost is $1.00 each way in Bedford and $2.00 each way outside of Bedford.  There will be an option to purchase a multiple ride pass with 25 1$ fares for a discounted cost of $20. The driver will sell these on the bus, and passes can also be mailed to people who request them online and send in a check. Either exact change or a check made out to TransAction Corporate Shuttles will work for purchases on the bus.

What do you mean by “out of Bedford?”  How far will the DASH go?

Trips can be booked to Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, and Lexington. Concord trips can be scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays on a space available basis.  This is subject to change depending on availability. Due to time and budget constraints we are not planning trips into Cambridge or Boston or further afield as other public transit exists to serve those areas.  However, if there are destinations you find it difficult to get to, please share your thoughts at www.bedforddash.com so we have that information for possible future services.

Do I pay the fare on the bus or can I pre-pay?

Riders can pay their fare on the bus if they have exact change or desire to make a donation above their designated fare as the drivers cannot make change. A multiple ride pass with 25 1$ fares for a discounted cost of $20 is available from the driver or via mail order. Again, exact change or a check made out to TransAction Corporate Shuttles will work for purchases on the bus.

Can my child take the DASH to a friend’s house after school or to Bedford Farms on early release days? 

Yes, your Middle School or High School child aged 12 – 18 may take the DASH with your signed permission form on file.  A parent or legal guardian is responsible for making the phone call requesting the trip and providing the information.  Forms and more information are available at www.bedforddash.com under the “Permission Packet” section.

But I trust my children completely. Why would I need to be involved?

Our primary concern is for the safety of all riders, especially young children who may not be familiar with riding public transportation. Having a parent book the ride ensures that parents are aware of their child’s whereabouts at all times.  For that reason children under the age of 12 using the DASH must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or older sibling. It is our goal to be as flexible as possible so that people can make the best use of the DASH. If you have a specific request related to children riding the service, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate it.

What if I forget to phone in for a ride and see the DASH driving by – can I flag it down for a ride?

To some extent that may depend on where the DASH is going at that point.  Those residents who have registered and have a fare card may be able to hop on if the DASH is not over subscribed or is heading in the direction the resident would like to go provided that they flag the van down in a safe spot for stopping.  Regular routes may develop as the system progresses and resident desires are better known.  Updated information will be posted at www.bedforddash.com

What if I need help getting to and from the Food Pantry and Community Supper on Thursdays?

Give the DASH a call!  One of the reasons for this expanded transit service was to help residents getting to and from Town Center for this Thursday event. 

What happens if I lose my fare card? 

Unfortunately lost or stolen fare cards can’t be replaced so be sure to put it in a safe place.

If I have other questions what should I do? 

Give the DASH Dispatcher a call at 781-275-DASH(3274)  Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM or use the Contact Us link at www.bedforddash.com

You may also contact Healthy Communities Coordinator Carla Olson at 781-275-7727, x 260 Mondays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays or email healthybedford@bedfordma.gov