Expanded transit, handivan

The 2015 budget includes additional hours and routes for the Community Connection bus, as well as an additional Handivan to accommodate growing demand.

Community Connection: The addition of service for the Community Connection will address concerns raised by various seniors in the city and would provide an opportunity for those in the community to have direct access to various “senior friendly” locations in the city.
Similar to the existing Route 300, these new routes have been designed with senior residences, retirement villages and major shopping centres in mind, and would use the Burlington Seniors’ Centre as the Community Connection hub. Instead of two days per week from 9am to 4pm, the service would run five days a week from 10am to 3pm, with two additional routes to serve more areas of the city. The additional cost is $337,000.

Handivan Service: An additional Handivan and driver at a total cost of $180,000 are proposed to address growing demand for specialized transit service and meet customer travel needs. in 2014, 675 trips had to be declined for lack of availability; that is projected to be 450 in 2015 with the additional van and driver.

The capital budget also includes $155 per year for bus stop location upgrades, including benches, display cases, schedule information signs, landing pads, and $105,000 per year for transit shelters.

My Take: I support these investments (and more) to ensure transportation for our citizens who don’t drive, or choose for environmental reasons not to drive. Access to transportation that meets their needs helps our residents fully participate in the life of the city.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. The proposed changes to the Community Bus Service does not serve the needs of the senior. 10-3pm will not help anyone trying to get to the Burlington Seniors’ Centre for a 9 or 9:30am course, I would like to know the criteria chosen for operating this bus from 10-3. If the route will be the “loop” as is presently in place it can take a senior an hour to get home. How successful has this route been to date.? MY TAKE: If you cannot do it properly, don’t do it at all.

    • Why would you take your dog shopping? It’s illegal to take an animal into a public place or building unless it’s a Service Animal or Guide Dog.

      I do agree well mannered pets should be allowed on transit to travel to parks, vets, visit family, etc. transportation by transit is not always a choice.

  2. While the new and improved services for handi van and the community connection bus may be helpful to some senior residents it is not helpful to senior/disabled residents with mobility challenges or chronic illnesses that render it impossible for them to carry any amount of weight. This means that to shop at a mall to buy more than one or two items cannot be done by this method. Shopping for groceries by either the handi van or the community connector bus is not possible to obtain enough food at the same time for meals.
    For eg. a carton of milk, and juice, eggs, bread, butter, would take up 2 or 3 bags and be quite heavy for some to carry more than a couple of feet, into or out of a vehicle or home. As well all driveways and parking lots are slanted toward the roads whch in turn are all slanted toward the lake to catch excess flowing water runoff. How can senior/disabled persons navigate these driveways and parking lots and streets either up or down an incline in frigid, icy, snowy raining or extreme heat and humidity and not fall. Falling is not an option and standing in inclement weather is impossible exposure during either heat or cold causes extreme pain and can cause frostbite, exposure or heat stroke. In order to purchase enough food, toiletries, cleaning products for the month requires more trips than one senior/disabled person is able to afford, financially, physically and the amount of time it would take.
    If in doubt of what I say, I suggest in order to best offer an INFORMED OPINION, you take a bus to shopping and see how many bags of your monthly groceries you buy and how many trips it will take you and then divide that proportionately by years of age and severity of disabilities and frailty encounter by all of us who age. Then offer a viable solution as one has not been offered yet.

    • Joan
      The City has added a HandiVan and increased Community Bus Service to 5 days a week.

      Do you want the driver to do you grocery shopping too?

      What you are asking is far beyond the City’s transit responsibility. Transit does not provide mobility assistance outside the bus.

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