For the past decade, Calgary Transit and Calgary HandiBus have worked closely together to provide accessible transportation to the Calgary community. Recently, Calgary HandiBus informed Calgary Transit that they will be ceasing bus operations sometime in 2015; however, work has already begun to ensure service for people with disabilities is not impacted.
Calgary HandiBus has been providing transportation for Calgary’s disabled community through Access Calgary — a division of Calgary Transit that manages eligibility, booking, scheduling and dispatching of shared-ride accessible transportation. Calgary HandiBus is one of four service providers Access Calgary uses to provide trips for those with disabilities.
Recently, an independent sustainability study commissioned by Calgary HandiBus found the accessible transportation market in Calgary has been evolving and more options for travel are available for the special needs community, including on Calgary Transit buses and CTrains, which are now more accessible.
The study’s main finding was the HandiBus business model simply isn’t sustainable any longer as costs continue to climb rapidly. HandiBus hasn’t determined a specific date to stop operating its buses, but has committed to giving Access Calgary adequate time to make the changes necessary to accommodate customers.
While many details have yet to be worked out, Calgary Transit and Calgary HandiBus are working together to ensure the transportation needs of the disabled community will be well served.
Calgary HandiBus intends to continue as a not-for-profit organization which will advocate for the disabled community and continue to raise money to buy vehicles for organizations that provide special needs transportation, including Access Calgary.