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.”