Categorized | News

Handibus marks 34th year of service to Fort Macleod

LINDA RIPLEY, GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR

Fort Macleod Handi Bus – file photo

On March 20th 2020, handibus service came to a halt in Fort Macleod due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through the summer of 2020, the handibus society board of directors began planning for a safe resumption of service. 

The Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta provided funding for personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies through the Emergency Community Support Fund. 

Handibus patrons and the handibus society board are grateful for this funding. 

On Oct. 5 handibus service resumed with new full-time driver, Laura Popovic, at the wheel. Peter Williams and Les Scott agreed to take on part-time duties as necessary.

Alberta residents are being advised to only venture from home for essential appointments and to acquire the necessities of life. 

Ridership on the bus is far below pre pandemic levels, indicating that Fort Macleod residents are taking Alberta Health guidelines to heart. 

March 2021 marks 34 years of handibus service in Fort Macleod.

Seniors, disabled and temporarily disabled individuals have relied on the handibus to maintain their independence while accessing medical and dental appointments, work, school, shopping and recreational outings.

Although many of the reasons for taking the bus are not relevant in pandemic times, individuals still rely on the service to access necessary appointments and  life’s essentials.

All Albertans are looking forward to a post pandemic era free of restrictions on travel and personal interaction. 

The handibus society recognizes the importance of specialized public transportation within our community and strives to provide this valued service.

The handibus operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. At present only two passengers are able to ride the bus at one time to ensure adequate physical distancing.

A face mask must be worn while on the bus. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own masks, but one will be provided if necessary.

A bottle of hand sanitizer is situated at the front of the bus; enabling patrons to sanitize when entering and exiting the bus.

Service is curb to curb. Patrons needing assistance to get from their residence to the bus and from the bus to their destination can bring an assisting companion. Companions will ride free of charge.

A one way fare is $3.75. Frequent riders may choose to purchase a 10-ride pass for $35. A monthly pass, entitling the holder to unlimited rides, can be purchased for $125. Patrons are encouraged to book ahead to ensure availability of service.

The Fort Macleod Handibus Society and bus patrons are grateful to the Lethbridge Community Foundation and Emergency Community Support Fund, to the Town of Fort Macleod and MD of Willow Creek, and to all community organizations and individuals who have provided much needed financial support over the years. Without this generous support it would be impossible to keep the handibus operating.

Comments are closed.