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Fort Macleod Handibus resumes operations with COVID protocols

LINDA RIPLEY, GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR

The Fort Macleod Handibus resumed delivering patrons to their destinations on Monday, Oct. 5 following a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Don Doherty has decided not to return to his position of full-time driver.  Handibus Society board of directors, along with bus patrons extend sincere thanks to Don for his 13 years of dedicated service and wish him well in all future endeavours.

The society is pleased to announce that Laura Popovic will take over duties of full-time driver. 

Peter Williams has agreed to continue as a part-time driver.

Patrons can reach Laura or Peter by phoning 403-380-0062 to book a ride.  Please try to book at least one to two days in advance, as bus capacity is limited to two passengers to ensure physical distancing.

Seats will be designated.  Once at your destination, please be patient — scheduling the return trip home may require waiting for availability. 

COVID-19 protocols have been established to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.

Drivers will be provided with face shields and masks.

Passengers are required to wear a mask when riding the bus. It is hoped that passengers will come equipped with their own masks, but one will be provided, if necessary.

Janet Jones kindly provided the Handibus Society with a supply of reusable masks. Disposable masks are also available.

Hand sanitizer will be situated at the front of the bus enabling  passengers to sanitize their hands when entering and exiting the bus.

High touch surfaces will be cleaned frequently. 

Most importantly, if you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms do not schedule a trip on the handibus. Stay safe and respect others rights to remain safe and well. 

Drivers have the right to refuse service if it is apparent that a patron is unwell or is disruptive or abusive.  

Over the past 33 years, it has been the Handibus Society’s mandate to provide safe, reliable door-to-door service.

The society has been informed by its insurance provider that our insurance policy covers “curb to curb” service only. 

This means that drivers will no longer be able to escort passengers with mobility challenges from the door of their residence to the bus. 

Drivers will continue to help passengers up the ramp onto the bus and off the bus as needed.

If a companion is needed to accompany a patron, to facilitate getting to the bus and then getting from the bus to an appointment or other destination, the companion will be able to ride the bus free of charge.

The society regrets any inconvenience this change in policy may cause.

As previously, the bandibus will operate Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Fares remain the same. A one-way fare will cost $3.75. A 10-ride pass can be purchased for $35. Monthly passes priced at $125 entitle the holder to unlimited trips.

The Fort Macleod Handibus Society recognizes the importance of this valued and well used service for both residents and businesses of our community.

The society sincerely hopes that the resumption of service will enrich the quality of life for passengers and that drivers and passengers alike will stay safe and well.

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