News Release for August 19, 2011

For more Information:
Paul Merrill, Public Information Officer - 207-624-3355 or 207-215-9297


MaineDOT And Schooner Bay Taxi Team Up To Purchase Handicapped Accessible Taxis

ROCKLAND, Maine – The Maine Department of Transportation and Schooner Bay Taxi, a private taxi service located in Rockland, Maine, are pleased to announce the groundbreaking arrival of the state’s first handicapped accessible taxis to serve individuals with disabilities in the midcoast region of the state.

The minivans equipped with side-entry ramps are part of MaineDOT’s Accessible Taxi Grant Program utilizing New Freedom funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The purpose of the New Freedom program is to provide new public transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 that assist individuals with disabilities with transportation, including but not limited to, transportation to and from jobs and employment support services.

The two accessible vehicles were purchased using a combination of FTA New Freedom grant money and a local share contribution that came directly from Schooner Bay Taxi.

“The willingness of Schooner Bay Taxi to enter into a public-private partnership with the state is a testament to the level of commitment that Chris and Renita Merritt, President and Vice-President, of Schooner Bay Taxi and their staff have to the communities they serve,” said MaineDOT Commissioner David Bernhardt.

Schooner Bay Taxi will provide rides for individuals with disabilities in coordination with regional transportations providers such as Coastal Transportation, Inc. and Waldo Community Action Partners, as well as general public riders. For more information regarding Schooner Bay Taxi service and how to access this new service, please visit their website:

For more information regarding MaineDOT’s Accessible Taxi Program and additional New Freedom Grant funding opportunities, please contact Penny Vaillancourt at 207.624.3240 or