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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sunshine Coach?
Sunshine Coach Service is a company operated under the umbrella of a charitable organization charted as Friends of the Disabled (Renfrew) Inc.  We provide transportation for people living with disabilities which render the use of conventional modes of public transportation inappropriate to their needs. Our service area includes the Town of Renfrew, as well as the five surrounding Townships of Admaston/Bromley, Bonnechere Valley, Greater Madawaska, Horton and Whitewater Region.

How do I become a client of Sunshine Coach?
The services provided by Sunshine Coach are available to any person living within our service area, regardless of age.  The only requirement is that our clients have a mobility impairment that requires the use of our specialized transportation options.  In general, you will find an application form on this website on the Our Services menu and by clicking the Booking Trips link. Alternatively, you may contact our offices Monday to Friday during the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and our staff will send you an application form buy the most convenient means.  In either case, the form has a section to be completed by you as well as a section to be completed by your doctor. Once a duly completed application form has been received at our office, you will have attained client status and may begin booking trips.  In addition, most Health Care and Long-Term Health Care facilities in our region may arrange trips on your behalf.

How much do trips aboard Sunshine Coach cost?
Trips that have their point of origin and their destination falling within the boundaries of the Town of Renfrew are conducted at a flat fare fee which is currently $9.00.  Trips that have a point of origin and a destination that fall within our coverage area, for the most part have a pre-calculated trip cost.  Other trips having a point of origin that falls within our coverage area and a destination anywhere beyond will have an individual price calculated on a quotation basis taking into account factors such as distance and duration.  In addition, a waiting fee which is currently set at $48.00 per hour will be assessed in cases where our driver must wait before beginning your return trip.  Our Operations Department will ensure that the most efficient pricing options are applied in your particular case to maximize the value you receive.  Should you require any further information concerning fares, please feel free to contact our office during regular business hours or send us an e-mail message.

How is Sunshine Coach different from regular public transportation?
Sunshine Coach maintains a fleet of vehicles that are specially equipped for transportation of people with special needs.  Our vehicles are all equipped with with ramps or lifts and have been modified to provide tie-downs for the safe and comfortable transportation of people in wheelchairs.  We are here to respond to the special needs of our clients and are dedicated to fulfilling that mission.  We do not provide transportation for the general public and do not operate any vehicles that can be classified as being within the realm of generalized transportation.

If I need the assistance of an attendant what fare will they be expected to pay?
Since our mandate is to provide transportation from accessible street level door to accessible street level door, it is your responsibility to ensure that you arrange whatever assistance you require either at your departure point or your destination.  Your attendant will not be charged a fare for any trip on which they accompany and assist you.  Our Drivers are courteous and experienced in assisting you to board and egress from our vehicles, as well as the proper methods of securing your wheelchair within our various coaches.

How is the service that the Sunshine Coach provides funded?
The funding required to keep the Sunshine Coach on the road is derived from many sources:

  • fares charged to users of our service make up the bulk of our revenues but these fall significantly short of the cost of providing the service.  Charging fares that would fully cover the actual cost of providing our service would almost certainly place it beyond the reach of the vast majority of our clientele.  As a result, subsidies are required from various sources as described below to make up the shortfall.
  • the Ontario Ministry of Transportation administers the Gas Tax Rebate For Specialized Transportation Program which provides funds aimed at subsidizing para transit in many municipalities and regions within the province.  These funds are administered by the Town of Renfrew and are significant in assisting to defray Operating Expenses as well as qualified Capital Costs.
  • the Town of Renfrew as well as the five surrounding Townships provide grants in support of our mandate for members of our community who have special needs.
  •  the general public makes donations which are applied directly to the operation of Sunshine Coach through our Charitable Foundation - Friends of the Disabled (Renfrew) Inc.  Charitable donation receipts are issued for Income Tax purposes according to the provisions of the Canadian Revenue Agency.  The primary fund raising event is the annual Sunshine Coach Radiothon which is held in late October.  Proceeds from this telethon which are generated through the efforts of numerous volunteers go directly to funding the services provided by Sunshine Coach.

How can I make a donation in support of Sunshine Coach?
The current state of the economy has placed many pressures on individuals and businesses alike.  Sunshine Coach is experiencing the same pressures as everyone else and the challenge to maintain our traditional levels of service for our special needs clients is great.  Consequently, we are always extremely grateful for the support of everyone who wishes to make a financial contribution.  There are many ways in which you may make a donation:

  • there are several locations on our website featuring links that you can click in order to make an immediate donation using major credit cards.  We have a partnership with who provide secure online processing of donations and also issue an immediate Canada Revenue Agency tax receipt via e-mail directly to you.  Once you have clicked on one of the Donate Now links on our web site you will be directed to to complete your donation processing.  You can designate the donation in memory of a loved one, direct your donation to our current Telethon attach any comment you wish concerning how you would like us to apply your donation.
  • donations may be made by contacting or visiting our offices during regular business hours to make arrangements
  • our annual Sunshine Coach Radiothon carried live on Valley Heritage Radio 98.7 offers the opportunity for you to call our special day-of pledge-line at 613-432-7299 to have our volunteer telephone operators receive your pledge during the broadcast.  The Radiothon event happens on the second Sunday following Thanksgiving and runs between the hours of 1pm and 5pm.
  • in all cases in which a donation of $10.00 or more is made, you will receive an income tax receipt issued by Friends of the Disabled (Renfrew) Inc.