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Transportation Support (Northern Zone)

To reduce barriers in accessing health care for residents of Colchester, Cumberland, and Pictou counties and the Municipality of East Hants, Public Health is offering free, non-urgent transportation support to get to and from health care and wellness appointments and sessions.

This pilot project is in response to Recommendation C.13 of the Final Report of the Mass Casualty Commission that recommends addressing unmet grief, bereavement and mental health needs through activities that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in Colchester, Cumberland and Pictou counties and the Municipality of East Hants and other communities affected by the 2020 Mass Casualty.

Who is eligible to use this service?

All residents from Colchester, Cumberland, and Pictou counties and the Municipality of East Hants are able to use this service.

How do I book transportation?

Call Public Health at (902) 893-5820* or email at least 48 hours (two days) before your appointment, but as much time as possible is helpful. Requests must be made during working hours, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Calls or emails will not be responded to on Holidays – please allow for this when planning.

You will be asked for some basic information including your name, address, phone number along with pickup and drop-off location/addresses. Some companies used may require a client’s date of birth.

  • We encourage you to book your transportation for a time that allows you to be to your location at a time comfortable for you. We encourage people to consider arriving 30-60 minutes in advance of your appointment to ensure you arrive on time, allowing for variations in traffic.  
  • We suggest contacting us sooner if your appointment is near a holiday as additional time may be needed if the offices are closed due to holidays. A member from Public Health will take your information and arrange transportation with a local transportation company and provide you confirmation of the booking. 
  • You can book multiple appointment transportation needs at the same time. This is actually preferred. Similarly, if appointments are on a reoccurring schedule (e.g., dialysis), please let Public Health know and we can try to create a reoccurring booking to accommodate the appointments, so you do not have to call each time.
  • If you require support with transportation to health care and wellness appointments outside of the Northern Zone, we can help arrange this. It takes extra time to arrange this, so please book this in advance (more than 48 hours beforehand).
    *If you  don’t have phone minutes to make a long-distance call, you can contact your local Public Health office and they will put you in touch with someone to contact, if needed.  

What will happen on the day of my appointment?

Transportation will arrive to pick you up at the time scheduled. We will provide you with the number for the transportation company booked for your appointment in the event anything arises the day of or if there are any delays. 

If your appointment finishes earlier or runs later than expected, call the transportation company to let them know of the changes in pickup time. They may be able to accommodate an early pickup, but if not, you will have to wait for the scheduled time.

What if my appointment is cancelled?

Please call and let us know if your appointment has been cancelled or there are any changes after booking transportation. We will contact the company to let them know of the changes or cancellation. In the event the appointment is cancelled or there are changes within a couple of hours of the appointment please also call the transportation company you’ve been provided as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a screening process to see if I am eligible? 
No. We trust when people say they need support for transportation. Providing proof of eligibility is often a barrier for people to access what they need and may prevent people from attending their required health care support. 
Can I have someone else accompany me to my appointment using the transportation support? 
Yes. If having a support person with you helps to access your health care and wellness appointments, we would support having them accompany you. Sometimes there are restrictions on the attendance of support persons by the health care provider. Please confirm this with the health care provider prior to booking transportation.  
Can someone from Public Health attend the appointment with me?
Public Health only offers transportation support for an appointment. We do not accompany individuals to appointments. 
I use home oxygen, is this an issue?  
Please let us know when you call that you use home oxygen. This may take a bit more time to ensure we get the right transportation provider for you.  
Are the transportation vehicles accessible?
Many of the local transportation providers have accessible vehicles. Please let us know when you call if you need accommodations to ensure transportation vehicle option that is accessible for you. 
Is this service for urgent care appointments?  
No. Many service providers need some notice to arrange transportation to rural communities. This service requires 48 hours notice, is non-urgent and best used for planned/scheduled health care services and appointments.  
I take part in a regular program that supports my emotional well-being. Would transportation be supported to attend this program?
Yes. Emotional wellness support often keeps people healthy and less reliant on the health system. Attending these appointments are equally important.  
While I am attending my appointment, I need to do some additional errands while I am in this location. Is this possible?  
If you are able to get to your other stops by walking or wheeling, we would encourage this happening. We just ask that you commit to being at your pickup location at the time you booked with the transportation support.  
What ages can use this service? E.g., can I send my child to their appointment on their own using this service?
A: Generally, children are encouraged to have the support of an adult with them for their health care appointments. We understand that there are exceptions to this situation.  Anyone 16 years and older can use this service. If younger than 16, please make note if you are traveling without adult accompaniment.
Please note: This transportation is not a substitute for school transportation system or an alternative to this service.

If I use my own vehicle, can I be compensated?
No. This program is funded to provide transportation using community-run companies and is not set-up to reimburse people for their travel expenses. Therefore, gas cards cannot be provided.


Call Public Health at (902) 893-5820 or emailing

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