About the Program
Since the program began in 1981 NEET's dedicated volunteer drivers have driven over 2 million miles to provide this service.
Northern Essex Elder Transport, Inc. (NEET) is a non-profit volunteer driver program serving the elderly in fourteen communities of the Merrimack Valley (See Service Areas for complete listing).
Our volunteer drivers provide curb-to-curb transportation for the elderly to medical appointments, essential shopping and social interaction when other means are either unavailable or unaffordable. Our drivers donate their time and the use of their automobiles. They are reimbursed at 43 cents per mile and are provided with free supplemental insurance.
Each Council on Aging, with support of NEET staff, recruits their own local corps of volunteer drivers. Some councils operate mini vans for local appointments and use the NEET transportation program for long distance rides. The program administrator interviews and goes through the guidelines with the new volunteers to maintain consistency throughout the program.
Elders who need transportation call their local Council on Aging and let them know their transportation needs and the ride is scheduled for them.
Since the program began in 1981 NEET's dedicated volunteer drivers have driven over 2 million miles. The demand for transportation has continued to increase over the years. NEET drivers, unlike other transit services, have the flexibility to adjust the changes in schedules. For example, if an elder needs a prescription refill after a doctor's visit, a side trip to the pharmacy can often be arranged.
Transportation is vitally important in helping the elderly maintain their independence and the NEET program is a vital link in ensuring that older adults have access to needed services and opportunities.
To continue developing the volunteer transportation program in the fourteen communities according to the needs of the elderly of each community
To recruit volunteer drivers in each of the fourteen communities to provide transportation for elders of each community
To provide information to the aging network and outreach to the elders in the fourteen communities so that they may know of the service and use it
To help seniors maintain healthy and productive lives
"I cherish the times I volunteer and the friendships I have and continue to make in the process."
My time spent with our seniors continues to inspire me and make me more determined to be their advocate. Through their stories, both good and bad, I can share in their triumphs and shoulder their fears even if it is only for a short ride."
-Jena H. Volunteer Driver
"I have been volunteering as a driver for NEET for 4 years."
I enjoy helping elders get to their necessary medical appointments and that gives me great pleasure to be able to provide this service.
-Jane M. Volunteer Driver