Tonight at City Hall, councilors looked at a plan for a new transit service for seniors and people with disabilities.
And delegates – mostly those who use those services – had a lot to say….
Lindsay Biscaia reports.
The rough plan is to buy a 10-seat bus – with 4 wheelchair spots – for seniors and people with disabilities.
The price tag for the new bus- roughly $775,000.
It would be an alternative for people who currently use Handi-Vans…
But as it turns out, delegates aren’t even happy with the current Handi-Van services.
Delegate, Marie Bongard:
“With the bookings, it says in the report that you may book up to 2 weeks in advance. I say that you must book two weeks in advance – if you want your ride.”
Another delegate, Teresa MacDonald, told councillors the City is in dire need of – not just more vans – but MORE drivers.
“I do know that it’s very challenging living with a disability and your illness. It’s hard for all of us to come out here and speak to you. It’s hard for us to even get a bus to come out tonight. My bus isn’t coming to pick me up until quarter to 11 tonight. I couldn’t find another time.”
MacDonald says priority seats on buses are usually occupied by people without disabilities – and that drivers rarely ask them to move.
“So I have more questions than answers maybe than I do on whether a community bus is viable.”
But Councillors had questions for MacDonald.
“You mentioned that there has been instances where the bus, dropping you off, has done so in an unsafe manner, is that the regular transit?”
“Yes, the regular transit.”
Delegates were concerned that all information regarding bus times and schedules was heading online.
“It should be more than just social media. A lot of the people that use the handi-vans don’t use social media. So more than just Twitter.”
If the transit plan gets final approval, the service would begin in August of 2017.