Battlefords residents unable to travel to medical appointments now have access to transportation. The new Battlefords Transit fleet handi-bus was unveiled last week with local government representatives in attendance such as City of North Battleford Mayor Ryan Bater.
Transit Manager Paul Robertson says a new bus was needed as a back up for the fleet in case repairs were needed. He says a doctor’s recommendation is needed for those wanting to use the new bus.
“For anybody that’s got a cognitive problem, maybe blind, maybe a broken leg, maybe dementia, anything like that where a doctor feels that they certainly need a handi-bus instead of the transit system.”
Robertson says it took several months to find the right price for the bus. The new 115 thousand dollar handi-bus was funded by three governments and Telemiracle.
“Because it’s a shared ride between North Battleford and Battleford, I wanted to split that 70/30 as agreed by the City and the Town.”
The province provided $55,000 in funding through the Transit Assistance for People with Disabilities. The split between the municipal governments added $38,500 from North Battleford and $16,500 from Battleford. The Kinsmen Foundation through Telemiracle contributed a grant for $10,000. The remaining amount was used for decals on the new bus.
The transit service also operates a medical shuttle to Saskatoon, says Robertson. Those in need of transportation to medical services can pay $380 for a full eight hours or the cost can be split between everyone on the bus.
Both municipal governments green-lit the project in July after a request for funding from Robertson.