Saturday, December 30, 2006

Coaldale Handibus Funding

Handibus seeking financial support

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

The gap between what clients pay and the operational costs of running the Coaldale and District Handibus Association will grow bit wider next year.

The association?s John Klassen said donations help make up the difference between the cost of operating the service and what clients pay for the service. It costs about $32,000 each year to run the service and $18,000 of that is covered by revenue generated by the service.
That leaves the service with about $14,000 a year to generate through donations and other sources such as community groups. In the new year the association will have to come up with an additional $3,000 to cover the insurance costs for the handibus.

In the past the Town of Coaldale has been able to include the handibus on its municipal insurance. That will no longer be possible as of the end of this year.

Klassen said the handibus will have to rely on additional donations in 2007 to help cover the shortfall in funds between operational costs and revenue. The service relies on three volunteer drivers with Ken Stenbeck, Denton Koening and Jerry Virginillo sharing driving duties.
He said the association appreciates the volunteer time that is donated to the service and the donations which help with operational costs. Last year the handibus made just under 2,000 trips. Anyone with a disability who requires the service of a handibus over that of a taxi can use the service.
Clients pay $4 for a one way trip within Coaldale and $12 for a one way trip to Lethbridge or return. For those clients who live in the county the cost is $1 per kilometre from Coaldale. Caregivers with clients ride for free. The service runs Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and through special arrangements during other times.

To book a trip call the Coaldale Health Centre at 345-3075 and select option ?0?. Trips should be booked as far in advance as possible to make it easier to book the handibus and a driver. The handibus association would also welcome new members to the board.

Anyone who is interested can contact Klassen at 345-4094 or attend the next regular meeting of the association on Jan. 17, 2007 at 1 p.m. in the former medical building at 1401-20th Ave.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why donors stop giving

Found this in a Charityvillage newsletter:

Fast Fact: Why donors stop giving

Many donors stop giving because they don't like the way charities
approach them for money, or they don't feel they get enough information
about how their donations are used, research finds. Many donors said
that they would continue to give, and even increase their contributions
over time, if they received prompt acknowledgments of their gifts,
confirmation that the contributions were used as they intended, and
evidence of measurable results about what their donations had achieved,
all before they were asked for more money. However, more than 90% said
that "none" or "hardly any" charities had contacted them without asking
for money. More than 75% of donors said they had received tokens of
appreciation, such as plaques, certificates or other trinkets, but only
5% said they display them. Most donors throw them away. And although
nearly 90% of charities publish a newsletter for donors (59% of which
are 8-16 pages long), two-thirds of donors said they don't have time to
read such newsletters, and 65% said they would prefer a one-page
bulletin about the specific program or service their money supported. --
Cygnus Applied Research

Saturday, November 25, 2006

supports for faliles of children with disabilities

Supports for Families of Children with Disabilities
State of the Evidence Review
Annotated Bibliography 2006

This has some of the background for our previous comment on divorce rates

The Daily, Wednesday, November 22, 2006. Study: Children with disabilities and chronic conditions and parental health

The Daily, Wednesday, November 22, 2006. Study: Children with disabilities and chronic conditions and parental health: "The study found that mothers of chronically sick or disabled children were twice as likely to report being in 'poor' or 'fair' health than those without chronically sick or disabled children."

NOTE: This study only looked at families that stayed together. We are all aware that families with disabled children are more prone to divorce.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

kid in wheelchair does backflips at skaterpark

Stumbled on this yesterday.

Apparently Aaron Fotheringham's brother is big into BMX at the skatepark. Aaron would spent his days watching from the sidelines until some said...

"Try it!"


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

CCVO Questions for PC Leadership Candidates

Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Oorganizations Questions for PC Leadership Candidates

To help organizations in Calgary's voluntary sector gain a better understanding of each leadership candidate's perspective about the sector, CCVO invited all candidates to respond to the following three questions about the sector:

1) As Premier of Alberta, what policy and operational steps would you take to enhance the ability of the nonprofit/voluntary sector to help maintain and build strong and vibrant communities across Alberta?

2) How would you bring the community-based knowledge and expertise of nonprofits and charities to the policy development process?

3) Do you support the Alberta Nonprofit /Voluntary Sector Initiative?

see the rest at:"

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Village of Nampa

Village of Nampa - Municipal Cooperation for Our Seniors

The Village of Nampaand Northern Sunrise County have been working together on seniors transportation in our area since 1991.That year Northern Sunrise County purchased a 12-passenger van, which was stationed at the Agricultural Service Board Building in Nampa. The bookings for all trips and recruiting volunteer drivers were coordinated through our Family andCommunity Support Services office (which is another joint board that both municipalities manage together), and the m and the maintenance and gas costs wereshared equally by the Village of Nampa and Northern Sunrise County.

In 2001, it was decided that a new bus was needed so we purchased a15-passenger mini bus with provisions for two wheelchairs. The funds for this buswere derived from a grant through the Wild Rose Foundation, a lottery grant, and funds from both municipalities. We still share the costs of maintenance and gasequally, and the Family and Community Support Services office looks after recruiting the volunteer drivers and bookings for the van.

The bus takes seniors to doctor appointments and shopping in Peace River weekly, and once a month goes to Grande Prairie. Other outings are planned at the seniors' request. All of the seniors are picked up and delivered to their homes when using the bus.

Seniors in the hamlets of Marie Reine and St. Isidore, also located in the county, may use the van. This service covers a large geographic area, and has worked well for many years. The service would not be possible without cooperation by both municipalities.

For more information, please contact:Village of Nampa Phone: (780) 322-3852

Jim Dinning - "strengthening communities" announcement Oct 19

Jim Dinning- "strengthening communities" announcement -- Oct 19: "Apparently Mr. Dinning released some ideas to strengthen communities:

o Annually adjust AISH benefits to reflect changes in the cost of living.
o Change the criteria so people receiving AISH benefits are able to keep more of their income earned from employment before there are adjustments to their benefits.
o Increase the supply of affordable housing, and ensure that a percentage of affordable housing is made accessible to people with disabilities.
o Ensure that appropriate support is available for home care and personal care.
o Work with municipalities to expand the availability of affordable and accessible transportation and establish inclusive communities, recreation facilities, and community services.

see more at:

[comment: so far this is the first PC Leadership Candidate to mention special transportation as a support to albertans]

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Strong fiscal results allow increased investment in capital and savings

August 23, 2006
"$31 million for auxiliary nursing salary adjustments"Strong fiscal results allow increased investment in capital and savings

February 27, 2006
"new funding for disability program workers"
"$10 million wage increase

... and never a dime to the local handibus folks

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Time for a second bus in Cold Lake?

This July 11 opinion in the Cold Lake Sun outlines the woes of Cold Lake passengers as new personel operate the handibus.
Cold Lake Sun, Cold Lake, AB

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Strathmore Handibus seeks drivers

Strathmore Standard, Strathmore, AB: "Handibus seeks drivers"

Comment: Our friend Marian Frederickson is finally taking a well-deserved retirement. Marian became the "dispatcher" when she retired at 65... it's been a full-time job since then. Good luck Marian!

Council authorizes new Town Rounder

Crowsnest Pass Promoter, Blairmore, AB

The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass operates a semi scheduled community bus called "The Rounder". This bus is unique in that it ties together the seperate communities that form the municipality (municipal region?)

Recently, the vehicle failed it's semi annual inspection ( frame cracks)... however the above article indicates a bid that the municipality couldn't refuse.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Strathmore WFCSS takes over handibus dispatching

Strathmore Standard, Strathmore, AB: "Wheatland Family and Community Support Service (WFCSS) takes over dispatching the handibuses in Strathmore and rural areas."

Monday, June 12, 2006

Wetaskiwin - peace hill lodge to transfer ownership of it's handibus

Peace Hills Lodge’s Pioneer Association has acquiesced its bus over to the Handi-Van Society. A letter was sent from the Seniors ...

Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser, Wetaskiwin, AB

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Handibus contract terminated

Cold Lake Sun — As of May 25, the Department of Community Services will provide the city’s handibus service.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Handibus contract gets strict!

Brooks Alberta Local News - The Brooks Bulletin: "effort to make sure that Brooks taxpayers will only be subsidizing Brooks handibus riders, the City of Brooks has entered into a stringent contract with the Newell Community Action Group, who is responsible for delivery of the handibus service in Brooks."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Possible changes at Strathmore Handibus

Wheatland County Council is exploring handibus dispatch options with the Town of Strathmore and the Wheatland Family and Community Support Service... Strathmore Standard, Strathmore, AB

Wetaskiwin: Busing consolidation for whole community

This article in the Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser, Wetaskiwin, AB describes the plan to consolidate the vehicles from four local groups. However, some folks not too thrilled with the idea of losing their bus Peace Hills president questions bus decision

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Crowsnest Pass Promoter, Blairmore, AB

Crowsnest Pass Promoter, Blairmore, AB:

"Town Rounder troubles"

The Town Rounder is out of commission after failing a recent inspection and its backup is picking up the slack."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Lacombe Handivan expands service

Handivan expands to weekends for trial
The Lacombe Handivan Service is testing the weekend waters…

By Bryan Alary
Globe Editor
Tuesday March 28, 2006

Lacombe Globe — The Lacombe Handivan Service is testing the weekend

The local transportation service is now two weeks into a two-month pilot program to see if there’s enough interest in weekend service.

"We’ve heard comments from people who say they’d really like services on Saturday and Sunday," said Sharon Dixon, programs coordinator with Lacombe Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), which operates the service with Neighbourhood Place.

Although early into the pilot program, ridership is low, Dixon said. "It’s very slow right now. I’m sure it’ll take time to catch on."

For $10 round trip, riders can travel anywhere in Lacombe on Saturday or Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The cost of weekend service is $10 per round trip--double the weekday cost, to help pay for fuel and wages for the driver.

The service generally travels only as far south as Blackfalds but Dixon said longer trips are possible if there’s enough interest.

"If there was a group of people going to Red Deer for the weekend, we could accommodate them," she said.

Riders must pre-book their weekend ride by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Whether the expanded service is here to stay depends on demand.

The pilot program is among a number of changes for the Handivan Service this year. A second van was commissioned just a few months ago, with a third van expected to come into service in a few weeks.

"It’s so exciting," said Dixon.

For more information about the Lacombe Handivan Service or to book a ride, contact 872-1552.

o The Handivan could be a transportation option for seniors eager to access the Lacombe Farmers’ Market at Michener Park this summer, said Dixon.

She said groups of market-goers can book rides like always.

"I see no difference now. They’ll be able to phone the same as they always have."

Dixon added that she’s open to establishing a set pickup time if that’s what customers or market managers want.

Handivans in Wetaskiwin

Plan in place for handivans to stay mobile

Ruth Saunders
Times Staff
Monday April 10, 2006

Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser —

A plan has been put together on the future of the handivans in Wetaskwin.

City and county officials sat down with HandiVan Society members to find a way to keep the vans which pick up and drop off people with little mobility around Wetaskiwin and the county.

“We’ve put together what we think is a workable umbrella,” explained city CAO Tony Goode.

As well as the two municipalities and the society, Good Shepherd and Peace Hills Lodge have come on board in the deal. The two organizations will turn their buses over to the HandiVan Society to run for them.

“The four parties have formed a management committee to oversee the operation and maintenance of the vans,” Goode noted.

The committee will be made up of Carol Anderson from good Shepherd, Kathy Wood representing Community and Seniors Housing, Rod Hawken for the county, Goode and the city’s Family and Community Support Services manager Virginia Lehman. The management committee will be answerable to the HandiVan Society which will continue fundraising
efforts in the community.

“Of the five vans, we will like dump the two oldest with the most miles and purchase a new one for a fleet of four. During the next month, the city will takeover the financial and booking end of things (through FCSS).”

The county will look after regular maintenance, such as oil changes, for the society and will insure the fleet through its Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties insurance.

“There will be a more restrictive use of the vans,” stated Goode, adding priority will be given to special needs children and seniors and the to other organizations in the community.

At this time, the town of Millet is not part of the group, but Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools will be involved in training the drivers and David Thompson Health Region is interested in getting involved.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Rocky View Handi Bus - Homepage

We recently held our AGM. You can catch our annual report to the membership, our financial statements and our last two newsletters one our website:
Rocky View Handi Bus - Home

Whitecourt Handibus committee at work

From the Whitecourt Star April 5, 2006

Mass transit closer to reality

With plans to become a society in the works, and an upcoming budget appeal, Whitecourt is coming ever closer to creating a mass transit system.

Mark Edwards
Wednesday April 05, 2006

With plans to become a society in the works, and an upcoming budget appeal, Whitecourt is coming ever closer to creating a mass transit system.

“We want to have a Handi-bus style of bus – a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that residents can order in advance,” says Dave McConnell, of the Whitecourt and District Transit Partnership. “Originally, we wanted to start big and have two buses – one Handi-bus and one that would follow a set route.”

McConnell, on behalf of the partnership, addressed the Community Services Advisory board asking for over $80,000 in operational costs and a part-time coordinator last month, but the board recommended they scale back the approach.

“There is definitely a need in town for this sort of thing,” McConnell says. “I really noticed it when I was out campaigning for council. There are a lot of people who don’t have vehicles, and I know the seniors over at the villa are very happy it’s going to happen.”

In addition to an on-call Handi-bus and the route bus, McConnell wants to add a bi-weekly bus that heads to Edmonton for people who have appointments in the city.

“It’s such that seniors can’t take a bus to the city for an appointment and come back the same day – they have to stay overnight,” says Gail Hadfield, FCSS program coordinator. “It’s a definite need in the community, and it’s been addressed many times in the past. We’re looking for something that will serve the needs of people all over the community.”

In a 2005 Town of Whitecourt Transportation Survey, 54 out of the 104 respondents said they would use public transportation, while 17 said they would use the Handi-bus, and 27 said they would use both. Of the 104, 56 said they would use it one to five times per week, and 65 cited $1 to $2 as a fair rate for a one way trip within the town. 78 said they would use the transportation option to Edmonton, and 42 cited $25 as a preferred cost per person for the service.

McConnell is optimistic about the program. “It’s a go, we’re going to make it work.”

Monday, February 13, 2006

Basic Funding in Alberta

A false start and a rebound.

Well we are learning that blogs are like New Year's resolutions -- you start with the best intentions and sure enough the visits to the gym start to be less frequent... you find excuses... (you know the rest)

Since I got a bunch of calls this week about basic Alberta transportation funding issues. Maybe this is a good place to start

Alberta Funding for small transportation providers:

In the beginning was Alberta's Public transit Operating Assistance Grant (PTOAG). This was a conditional grant for Alberta Municipalities: $3.19 per capita for "specialized transit" and about $8.00 per capita for "regular transit."

Then in the effort to slash the Alberta deficit (1994?), PTOAG became the base amount to fund several municipal responsibilities -- linear parks maintenance, extra policing, and transit. To alleviate the strain, the Province helped the Municipalities and made the funds unconditional. They even called the new program an "Unconditional Municipal Grant Program" (UMGP). Local municipalities could spend these funds as they see fit -- in response to local concerns.

The deficit was attacked in 1994. As of 2006, we are debt-free. Unfortunately the UMGP has not been reviewed since 1994. It is locked at the 1994 rates and the amount is fixed as per the municipal population levels of 1994.

A review has been in the works since Aug 2001. Alberta Municipal Affairs, Alberta Transportation and Alberta Seniors were to lead this review. Unfortunately, after the last provincial election, new ministers took on the departments and the review appears be
progressing at a very slow pace (if at all)

Alberta's Rural Development Initiative may have some funding to help facilitate housing seniors in rural communities. Unfortunately this is slowly very progressing. In the meantime, many municipalities took a reduction in their UMGP funding as province initiated a new police funding formula. Reducing some of the UMGP funds in return for some conditional funds for policing.

You can look up how much your municipality receives in UMGP funding at Alberta Municipal Affairs website:

You can look up the profile our your community and suggest to your municipal council how they should spend that money ( many municipalities still hand over the entire UMGP amount to their local agencies).

Give it a try!

Sunday, January 01, 2006


In the category of "Local resources," the Barrier-Free Transportation group at Alberta Transportation has a few resources relevant to Alberta transportation providers:

Don't forget to check-out past issues of their newsletter.