The onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic has caused many changes in the way we all do things, in order to keep ourselves safe. At the hospital level, the folks at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical center have also had to make a number of changes for the same reasons.

One of those changes was to discontinue the free valet service they offered to those who visited their facility. It would not have been realistic to stop the potential spread of the Coronavirus without suspending that service, but the need for such a service still existed.

So the Medical Center came up with a temporary solution, for the warm weather months; They set up a Park & Ride Program.

Using golf carts, they spent the summer and early fall transporting patients to and from the Webber West parking lot to the hospital's Main Entrance. The golf carts' lack of confinement and general overall plastic and metal composition made it easier to clean and provide adequate airflow for both the driver and the passengers.

EMMC Bangor YouTube
EMMC Bangor YouTube

But as winter approached, the medical center knew it would have to find a better way to provide that service, that took into account the cold weather and winter conditions we often experience in Eastern Maine.

So they got this sweet new ride! (Actually, they have two of them!)

Northern Light Health
Northern Light Health

Representatives from the Medical Center say "The vehicle we selected is easy to clean between passengers, allows adequate social distancing, is heated, and it’s electric; it charges from the power we generate on campus."

They started using their new rides to transport patients and their families, back and forth earlier this month, and folks really seem to like the new vehicles.

Patients can take advantage of the new Park & Ride program weekdays from 5AM to 5PM (with the exception of major holidays, of course. ) If they're coming from the parking lot, they can either call 973-7500 for a ride, or make their way to the tent in middle of the lot.

"For now, patients who park in the Webber West parking lot may catch a ride at the white canopy tent, located in the center of the parking lot. This canopy will soon be replaced by a new permanent shelter to accommodate our Maine winters. The Park and Ride vehicles make continual trips between the shelter and the Main Entrance, so wait times are minimal."

To hitch a ride back to their car, visitors just need to stop by the Penobscot Pavilion (at the Main Entrance) and speak with one of the drivers.


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