The Midcoast RideFinder is a user-friendly print and online (midcoastridefinder.com) directory that profiles all the transportation providers in Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties and the towns of Harpswell and Brunswick.

“Finding transportation in rural Maine can be challenging, but there are more options than most people are aware of,” said Lee Karker, the executive director of MCH, formerly known as Methodist Conference Home. MCH is the nonprofit organization that developed the RideFinder through its transportation program Coastal Trans.

The Midcoast RideFinder profiles volunteer driver programs, carpools, taxis, non-emergency transport, ferries and other transportation geared toward older adults and people with disabilities, highlighting which providers are free, which accept MaineCare and which are wheelchair accessible. This is the first time all this information has been profiled in one place. MCH and Coastal Trans will distribute 5,000 printed guides to local service agencies, libraries, town offices, doctor’s offices and elderly communities.

The Midcoast RideFinder, the first project of MCH’s mobility management program, was made possible by grants to Coastal Trans from the Maine Community Foundation, the Francis Hollis Brain Foundation and the JTG Foundation. The project grew out of MCH’s 30 years of experience running Coastal Trans, which helps seniors, the disabled and low-income people get to medical and social service appointments.

MCH is the first nonprofit in Maine to develop a mobility management program, an innovative national model, to help more people access existing transportation options and develop new services collaboratively.

“One transportation system cannot meet all of the diverse needs in this rural service area,” said Michele Manley, MCH’s mobility manager. “It is essential to collaborate with nonprofit and for-profit transportation providers and social service agencies to make transportation more accessible.” MCH is currently working with the Midcoast District Public Health Coordinating Council to distribute the RideFinder, teach individuals how to use it and help MCH assess gaps in existing service.

The Web site midcoastridefinder.com will be constantly updated. Transportation providers that are not included in the directory can contact Manley at 596-6477.