Assistance with Travel
Some of the information on this page was compiled by Ernie Card – Thank you!
If You’re A Mainer, You Can Get There From Here
Marshal Dodge gave Maine people a laugh with a monologue called “Which Way To Millinocket?” that ended with the observation, “You can’t get there from here.” It’s no laughing matter when you have an appointment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston and you have no idea how to get there. Relax, we’ll take it from here.
Let’s look at public transportation as it avoids the hassle of driving in Boston traffic and the expense of parking while offering a cost effective alternative.
Concord Coach Lines (Trailways) 1800 639 3317 runs daily trips from Bangor to Boston down US Route 1 with stops along the coast. They also run trips from Augusta with connections in Portland. Fourteen daily trips from Portland to Boston’s South Station Transportation Center 700 Atlantic Ave. Concord makes bus transportation convenient and, at a cost of $24 each way, many find it more economical than driving. Ask about a cancer companion fare discount to reduce ticket prices further.
South Station in Boston is a convenient starting point. Look for MBTA signs directing you to Park Street station on the Orange Line. At the Park Street stop go upstairs to connect with the Green Line (an above ground trolley). Look for the pickup point for the Green Line and cars marked Heath Street. Follow directions By Trolley below.
Greyhound: Tickets may be purchased starting at $16 one way at Portland Bus Station 950 Congress St., Portland. Will Call Available.Tel: (207) 772-6588
The Amtrak Downeaster offers another convenient and even more cost-effective means of transportation to medical appointments in Boston. Amtrak honors 50% OFF Cancer Fare Coupons issued by American Cancer Society. One Bowdoin Mill Island Ste 300 Topsham Tel: (207) 373-23700. With the coupon the cost is $12 each way. This discount applies to a companion as well. Companion fares are the lowest by train. Reservations cannot be made at a Quik-Trak Kiosk. This discount in not valid for travel in business class. Bring the coupon to the Portland Transportation Center 100 Thompson’s Point Road, Portland to buy tickets. Tickets purchased in Portland can be used in Brunswick and Freeport as well. Both have convenient low-cost parking available. Parking in Portland is $5 day.
If you are purchasing tickets by phone, 1 (800) 872-7245 ask the ticket agent to manually price the fare order at $12 each way as the Amtrak nationwide reservation system does not accept the ACS coupon code automatically.
From North Station (or Park Street if you’re coming from South Station) take the Green Line E marked Heath Street. Sit in the front car on the right side and nine stops and 19 minutes later you will be getting off at Brigham Circle (for Brigham and Women’s Hospital 45 and 75 Francis Street and Dana-Farber.)
At trolley stop: Walk to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 630 yd • 8 min Start at Brigham Circle Outbound trolley stop. Turn left towards sidewalk which runs along tracks. At the traffic light turn right towards Francis Street and cross Huntington Ave. carefully with the traffic stopped. Follow Francis Street past #75 and turn right towards Binney Street. Follow Binney Street and turn left at Jimmy Fund statue on Jimmy Fund Way. Enter Dana-Farber from Jimmy Fund Way side or go around corner to 450 Brookline Ave.
The Charlie Card offers Senior Citizen discounts that mount up over the course of treatment.
To get the Charlie Card take the Red Line to The MBTA office in the Downtown Crossing station and apply. You can charge $20 to the card and ride everywhere at a senior discount.
Other Travel information
AA&MDSIF Patient Travel Fund is a fund that provides up to $500 per family for travel expenses to clinical trials. For more information call 800-747-2820.
Air Care Alliance links patients with various free flight programs. Call 888-260-9707 for further information.
Air Life Line has provides individuals with access to healthcare through a network of over 1,500 volunteer pilots. For additional information go to the Air Life Line website, or call 800-446-1231.
Angel Flight America provides patients and their families with free transportation to medical treatment in small private airplanes. This outreach is in all 50 states. Call 800-446-1231 for more information.
Angel Flights for Veterans provides free or greatly reduced rate long distance transportation to medical treatment for patients who need to travel to distant locations for specialized evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment. Angel Flight Veterans services veterans and active duty military personnel and their families. For more information go to the Angel Flight Veterans website.
Concord Coach Lines (Trailways) runs daily trips from Bangor to Boston down US Route 1 with stops along the coast. They also run trips from Augusta with connections in Portland. Fourteen daily trips from Portland to Boston’s South Station Transportation Center, 700 Atlantic Ave. Concord makes bus transportation convenient and, at a cost of $24 each way, many find it more economical than driving. Ask about a cancer companion fare discount to reduce ticket prices further. For more information, visit the Concord Coach website or call 800-639-3317.
Corporate Angel Network arranges for travel for cancer patients to treatment centers using empty seats on corporate jets. Eligibility is open to all cancer patients who are ambulatory and not in need of medical support while traveling. For more information go to the Corporate Angel Network website, or call 866-328-1313.
Greyhound Bus tickets may be purchased starting at $16 one way at Greyhound Bus Station, 950 Congress St., Portland. Will Call Available. For more information, visit Greyhound website or call the Portland station 207-772-6588
Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA) is dedicated to serving people in situations of compelling human need through the provision of charitable air transportation. For more information call 1-888-675-1405.
National Patient Travel Center provides information about long-distance medical air transportation through charities. For further information call 800-296-1217.
Assistance with Lodging
There are many times when a cancer patient must travel great distances to reach the needed treatments. The patient and family members have to cover the cost of transportation to the distant location but they must pay for lodging for the duration of the treatments. Many organizations now provide free or reduced cost lodging. We have provided information about a few such organizations.
Sarah’s House of Maine is a new Cancer Hospitality House for cancer patients and caregivers. Located on 80+ acres in Holden, Maine, Sarah’s House offers: a short drive to the Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Brewer (affiliated with Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Cancer Care), little or no cost to guests and their loved ones, nine individual guest rooms with room enough for two, indoor and outdoor shared spaces for encouraging support and sharing of experiences, television, chair/desk for writing, club chair for lounging, and wardrobe or closet in each room.
Patients seeking lodging at Sarah’s House must be referred by their patient advocate representative at EMMC Cancer Care (973-7478). The patient advocates will then reach out to the Sarah’s House manager to see if they have an available room and to begin the process.
For further information, go to the Sarah’s House of Maine website and read the Nov. 3rd article about Sarah’s House in the Bangor Daily News.
The Healthcare Hospitality Network, Inc. (HHN) is a nationwide professional association of nearly 200 unique, nonprofit organizations that provide lodging and support services to patients, families and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment far from their home communities. Hospital hospitality houses (HHH) provide free or significantly reduced cost lodging to patients and their families while receiving medical care away from their home communities. Unlike a hotel, HHHs provide opportunities for those going through similar stressful situations to come together as a community where they can support one another. Go to the Healthcare Hospitality Network website.
Joe’s House is an on-line nation wide lodging resource for cancer patients and their families who must travel away form home to receive medical treatment. The website lists cancer treatment centers and nearby lodging facilities. Hotel partners include: Best Western International, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Select & Express, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, Extended Stay Hotel, Extended Stay Deluxe, Homestead Studio Suites, Crossland Suites, StudioPlus Deluxe Studio, Drury Inn, Drury Suites, Drury Plaza Hotel, Pear Tree Inn, Hyatt Place Hotels, and Red Roof Inns. For locations nearest your treatment go to to the Joe’s House website.
Fisher House provides free accommodations for military families. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military and VA medical center. For further information go to the Fisher House website, or call 888-294-8560.
Hope Lodge is a temporary housing program supported by the American Cancer Society. It provides free accommodations for cancer patients during treatments. For more information about this program go to the Hope Lodge website, or call 800-227-2345 (ACS toll free line and ask about Hope House).
Many cancer treatment centers have arrangements with local hotels/inns to provide free or reduced lodging. We encourage the patient and family to inquire about these accommodations.