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Driver Handbook

    This guide walks you through the process of a C.A.R.S.S. ride, from the initial pick-up request to completion of the ride. It's important to learn and review these guidelines again and again to provide a safe and positive experience.

Important Phone Numbers

Non-Emergency to reach Coordinator: (415) 944-5474

On-Duty Emergency to reach Coordinator: (415) 944-5475

How Does C.A.R.S.S. Work?

Step One: Rider Requests a Ride

    Once a Rider has confirmed with the CARSS Program Coordinator that they are eligible, they can begin to request rides.  Below are the steps to requesting rides.

Reserving a Ride up to One Week Ahead

  • Riders will call into CARSS by 5pm the day before they want the ride – they can call up to one week ahead

  • When they call the CARSS line they will hear the prompt to reserve rides for the next day

  • Riders must request a ride for each way –maximum two one way trips per day

  • The CARSS Program Coordinator will review ride requests and contact any RIDERS who have conflicts to adjust times

Requesting a Same Day Ride

  • Rider will phone the CARSS number and be given prompts that include “Request a Same Day Ride”

  • During the hours of 10am and 1:45pm, the CARSS Same Day Ride Request Line will be forwarded to the Driver on Duty’s cell phone

  • The Driver on Duty will return the call ONLY when it is safe to talk – not while driving or assisting other Riders

  • At 1:45pm the CARSS line will no longer be forwarded to the Driver on Duty and it will no longer be an option for Riders when they call the CARSS line

Important Points About Ride Requests

  • Riders must be in the CARSS system to request a ride. Drivers will be sent an updated list the day they are driving

  • Riders must live in Sausalito or the Floating Homes.

  • Rides can ONLY be provided to areas in Sausalito, the Floating Homes, Manzanita transit stop and Gateway Shopping Center.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • Riders must be 60 years or older or younger with a disability

  • Drivers cannot provide any other services to the Rider

  • Riders must be ambulatory and able to get themselves into and out of the automobiles, no physical assistance can be provided

  • Drivers will assist with up to two bags of groceries to the front door

Step Two: Driver on Duty

Getting Ready to Pick Up Riders

1) At 9:15AM log into Assisted Rides Software Program and view/print your scheduled rides for the day​

2) Prepare for your trip:

  • Make sure you have sufficient fuel

  • Make sure your cell phone is charged

  • Clean the inside of your car of debris

  • Make sure your mirrors and windows are clean

  • Make sure you know the streets on your schedule – bring GPS or map

  • Have the CARSS Program Coordinator direct number in case of emergency (415-944-5475)

Volunteer Driving Tips

    Some of our riders may be more mobile than others. It is important to respect the rider’s independence while keeping his/her safety in mind. Always ask the rider if he/she needs help first with things such as:

  • Attaching the safety belt

  • Carrying bags

  • REMEMBER:  you should not be physically assisting the riders

When you Arrive at the Rider's Place of Residence

  • Park as close to the front door as possible, making sure there is enough space for the passenger door to fully open

  • If you park next to a curb, make sure the rider will have adequate room to step and turn on the pavement below the curb – 18 inches

  • If the rider does not respond to the doorbell or knocking, after a few minutes call the rider on the phone. If you still do not get a response, call the CARSS Program Coordinator

When a Rider Opens the Door

  • Make sure to ask the Rider if he/she “has everything they need” (house keys, medical ID cards, wallet, cell phone and CARSS phone number)

  • Escort the Rider to the car and talk them through getting into the passenger seat safely (Suggest bottom first and PROTECT RIDER’S HEAD!)

  • Ask if the Rider needs assistance in securing the seat belt

  • Make sure the Rider is secured in the seat, and place his/her equipment (cane, walker, crutches) in the trunk of your car

  • Review the directions to your destination before you start the engine

When you Arrive at the Destination

  • Ask the Rider if he/she needs assistance to the door

  • Park the car close to the entrance and confirm the time and place if there is a return ride scheduled

  • Again, make sure the Rider has the CARSS phone number with them

Grocery Shopping

  •  If the Rider needs assistance, Drivers can carry up to two bags of groceries

  • Help the Rider into the car and then load the groceries in the back seat or trunk

  • When you arrive back at the Rider’s home, you can assist with up to two bags of groceries to the front door

Answering Same Day Ride Requests

    Between 10am and 1:45pm the Same Day Ride Request phone line will be automatically forwarded to the Driver on Duty’s cell phone.

  • DO NOT ANSWER the phone unless it is safe to do so – when you are not driving and you do not have a passenger with you

  • When you return the call, let the person know whether you are available to provide the ride(s) they are requesting

  • IF you are unavailable, suggest that the Rider call back and make a reservation for the next day

  • The last ride pick up would be 1:45 to insure it is completed by shift end

At the End of the Shift - Very Important!

    It is important to complete the paperwork at the end of your shift so that we can accurately record every ride that has been provided.  The future of the program depends on our being able to document the need for it, and your Ride Log is key.

    Please complete the Paper Log that has been provided and return it to the CARSS Program Coordinator by one of these methods:

  1. Take a photo of it and text or email to the Program Coordinator

  2. Directly email/text the completed rides to the Program Coordinator

NOTES are very important.  Any information that might be important to pass on to another Driver would be helpful.  Example:  the driveway is really narrow, the Rider asked for you to go into the house and perform other tasks, the Rider was late, etc.


What if I arrive and the rider does not answer the door?

If you do not get a response after ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door in a reasonable amount of time, call the Rider. If you still have no response, call the CARSS Program Coordinator.

What if I arrive at a rider’s house and he/she is non-ambulatory?

Anytime a Rider appears unable to walk or is having difficulty with balance and cannot walk safely, or seems too ill for you to assist, call the CARSS Program Coordinator. DO NOT TRANSPORT THIS RIDER! 

What if there is an accident?

Use your good judgment. Quickly assess the situation. If the Rider has fallen, stay with the Rider, and do not move him/her. Call 911 and then call the CARSS Program Coordinator at the earliest time you can do so safely. If you and the Rider are involved in an automobile accident, and you are not injured, follow the same procedure. If you are injured, call 911 and ask the Rider to stay in place until help arrives.

What if the Rider offers me payment for the ride?

Our program is set up and insured on the basis of the volunteer providing his/her own vehicle without charging fees to the rider. Volunteers can suggest that if a Rider would like to make a contribution, donations to CARSS are always appreciated and needed.

And Remember...

  • Always stay within an arm’s length of the Rider’s shoulder in case you need to react immediately

  • Do not do anything you do not feel safe doing

  • If anything unexpected happens, or if you have any questions, or need help, call the CARSS program coordinator

  • In an emergency, stay with the Rider, and call 911 immediately

  • Do not take possession of the Rider’s handbag, wallet, jewelry, or other valuables, even at the Rider’s request

  • If you observer anything unusual about your passenger’s physical or mental condition (i.e. multiple or large bruises, limping, pain, depression, etc.) that you were not informed about prior to pick up, please call the CARSS Program Coordinator for follow up after the ride, UNLESS what you have observed interferes with safe transport now.  IN THAT CASE, CALL THE CARSS PROGRAM COORDINATOR IMMEDIATELY for further instructions.

  • REMEMBER, regardless of your training, if you ever feel you are presented with a rider you do not believe that you can SAFELY transport, DO NOT TRANSPORT THAT RIDER! IMMEDIATELY CALL THE CARSS PROGRAM COORDINATOR, UNLESS THIS IS A “911” EMERGENCY THEN, OF COURSE, CALL “911”.

    You are providing a wonderful service and making a huge difference in the lives of our Riders - Have a good time and enjoy the experience!

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