Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Broken Alberta Promises: a Series (part III)

This report came out in 2001

Community Transportation Options for Persons with Transportation Disabilities in Edmonton, Red Deer and Claresholm

Some of the reccomendations include:

2. That the local transportation per capita funding rate within the Unconditional Municipal Grant Program be increased from its current level of $3.19 to reflect both the changing profile of the Alberta population and the increasing travel needs of Albertans who must access community supports and services.

3. That current municipal population data be applied to the Unconditional Municipal Grant Program.

4. That the Municipal Affairs Grant Regulation be amended to designate the per capita funding provided specifically for the provision of local transportation services.

5. That the availability of funding to improve accessibility under the urban and street improvement programs be made widely known.

Coincidently, this report came out just as we were receiving responses from Alberta Cabinet Ministers that a review of the Unconditional Municipal Grant was pending from the province.

...and no such review ever happened.

Broken Alberta Promises: A Series (part II)

In 2005, we were asking the Alberta Government if the long promised review of accessible transportation funding would indeed move forward. The province replied with the announcement of a study:

Transportation For Seniors
And Persons with Disabilities In Alberta

We'll "cherry-pick three comments from the RECOMMENDATIONS section:

Most service providers are located in urban and local centres such as towns and villages and hence provide most of their
service within those boundaries. People residing in (remote)
rural Alberta do not appear to have access to public specialized
transportation services to the same degree. The data suggest
that over half a million of Albertans do not have access to
specialized transportation.

The unmet demand will continue to increase in the next 10
years across all regions. This is supported by service providers’
estimation as well as Alberta Health and Wellness’ population
predictions. In particular the proportion of seniors requiring
specialized transportation services will increase dramatically. In
some RHAs the proportional increase in the total population of
seniors will be close to 200%.

Most service providers do not believe they will be able to meet this demand with their current resources.

Once the report was issued, any effort for a review of funding for accessible transportation just disappeared.

Broken Alberta Promises: a series

from STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS AND FUTURE ACTIONS: Healthy Aging and Continuing Care in Alberta, Alberta Health and Wellness, April 2001

Alberta Health and Wellness and the health authorities will work with other government departments, municipalities, stakeholders, and the voluntary, private and public agencies to promote environmental changes in communities that will facilitate healthy living and "aging in place." This includes the design of barrier-free communities, development of accessible transportation services for persons with frailty and disability, and the development of caring support networks at the community level.

Alberta Health is just one of seven provincial ministries that depends on the availablitity of accessible transportation services.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Camrose and the County of Stettler Receive Infrastructure Investments

federal press release:

Camrose and the County of Stettler Receive Infrastructure Investments:

"The Camrose Public Transit System project will include the purchase of three 18-to 24-passenger wheelchair lift equipped transit buses. These buses will be powered by a diesel engine that can also use low-sulphur diesel fuel or bio-diesel fuel once these alternative fuels become available in Camrose. The project will also include the installation of 60 formal bus stop locations, four passenger shelters at high-traffic locations and two bus pull-out lanes on the City's busiest roadway."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The MOST Awesome Transit/Paratransit Library Resource

The Transportation Cooperative Research Program has some incredible resources available to the the small canadian paratransit provider. We suggest you explore the following links:

TCRP Reports
TCRP Web-Only Documents
TCRP Synthesis Reports
TCRP Research Results Digests

TCRP Legal Research Digests
(disclaimer: these tend to deal with American legal situations)

happy reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Guess What Happened?

Now we can tell you the story...

Last month, one of our drivers was overdue for his first pick-up. A couple of phone calls lead us to the discovery that while enroute to his first pick-up, our driver had encountered nine bulls on a dark, early morning road. As the cattle where distributed across the road, there was little option to avoid them.

Although the driver walked away with only some scratches, three bulls were killed instantly. Our new minivan (purchased from by Liberty Motorco in June 2007) did not fare the incident well but obviously protected its lone passenger (i.e. the driver).
We are pleased to report that insurance is covering the loss and a replacement will be with us next month.

Now that everything is resolved one question remains... What do we call this incident?
(please cast your vote on our home website www.rockyviewbus.ca)

[Vote often!]

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Handi-Bus Dispatch on Town of Strathmore

Handi-Bus Dispatch on Town of Strathmore

A year and a half ago, the Handi-Bus Association approached Wheatland FCSS to provide dispatching services for the Strathmore and District Handi-Bus Association. During that time, Wheatland FCSS has established and developed a process and procedure to dispatch efficiently to the public. Fifty percent of the dispatcher’s salary is paid between the Town of Strathmore and Wheatland County. The growing demands for Handi Bus service now dictate this percentage needs to increase. The municipalities felt that if the Town were to continue with dispatching, resources from within the Town could be used to save money on salaries.

Currently, the Town employs the Driver’s for the Handi-Bus and will be willing to accept dispatching within the Town’s resources of Community Services. Working and learning from Wheatland FCSS, the Town would be able to, seamlessly to the public, take over the dispatching. This process will become effective January 4th, 2008. The Handi-Bus phone number will remain the same so there will not be any confusion for the public, the only difference will be, that the Town will answer the phone. The Handi Bus Association, Town of Strathmore and Wheatland County would like to express their gratitude to Wheatland FCSS for all their hard work and contributions in dispatching this past year and a half by helping the citizens of Strathmore and Wheatland County in their transportation needs. Wheatland FCSS’s philosophy is to assist organizations by helping them to establish a program until it can become self-sufficient. They are in support of the Town accepting the dispatching services...

The Town of Strathmore will strive to continue with excellent service to the public and will be looking at implementing an on call dispatch for the weekends for emergency use only. If you would like any further information or have suggestions on this please feel free to call Carole Engel, Director of Community Services for the Town of Strathmore at 934-3204 local 228.