Friday, November 28, 2014

Calgary Transit working towards solution with Calgary HandiBus

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.


  1. This decision is absurd. First and foremost let me say that if all the providers Handibus is by far the best provider. They are respectful and understanding of their passengers and treat them with courtesy and kindness. Secondly I would like to say, while I appreciate dollars and cents factor into many decisions, this is not just a budget issue. The service provided by Handibus represents equity of access and a service to a vulnerable population who do not have options. While I appreciate the work that has been done to increase accessibility in public transport, there are many segments of the disability community who cannot use public transportation for many reasons related to their disability and medical condition. If I felt the alternative providers could perform at a similar level to Handibus I would not be perturbed but my almost 20 years experience tells me this is not the case. Something needs to be done.

  2. My son who has cerebral palsy and lives in the downtown area has been using Handibus for many years. This form of transportation has allowed him to participate in community activities,
    volunteer positions, scheduled programs, shopping and many other worthwhile activities. Scott uses a power wheelchair and has a distinct speech disability. In order for him to continue to live as independently as possible he needs access to this form of transportation.
    We all know that it is difficult to "get around" in winter and that difficulty increases when you are a wheelchair user. The snow removal on sidewalks and curb cuts doesn't happen immediately, the wheelchair gets stuck and/or quits frequently in winter weather. In order to avoid these problems using Handibus reduces the chances of a person who cannot walk freezing in the snow while waiting for some sort of help. I understand from speaking with my son that he feels that C-Trains are not a safe mode of transportation after dark and there are certain stations that he will not use even in daylight.
    Taxis are not a great option as they are hard to access and often times a person is "passed over" by taxi companies.
    Although there are some problems with booking buses through access on the whole the service tries to accommodate their clients. Most drivers are kind and interested in their clients, paying attention to safety. Dispatchers usually try to make sure their clients who have a late bus get home safely. I have nothing but high praise for the drivers and all staff who are responsible for one of the best accessible transportation service in Canada.
    Hopefully those making decisions regarding this essential service will give some careful thought in what is absolutely a very important part of our community.

  3. Make NO mistake---Whoever is Making this decision---DOES--NOT--CARE...Either that---Or---Is NOT thinking CLEARLY...[ SOME-ONE ISN'T ]---Yet---That is indeed our So-Beloved System...
    When a Service that has be in Operation---As long as Access has---Throws in the White-Towel---All because of the $$$---Well---It's just ANOTHER--SIGN of the END-TIMES---
    Let US be HONEST here---[ MONEY ]---Is the "ROOT"...
    And---If "TRUTH" be KNOWN---It even COMES before "PEOPLE"...
    I believe---ACCESS---Is MAKING a HUGE MISTAKE---Yet---What do I KNOW---?
    Hmmmmmm---Perhaps I can say---
    When THERE--IS--A--"WILL"---There is going to be a "WAY"
    Here's a Thought---And---It's a SCARY ONE TOO---
    Wouldn't it be BREAKING NEWS---If our so-Beloved-Politicians Dipped into Their OWN pockets---Instead of TAKEN /STELING from the People---Giving to THE-PEOPLE...


    REG SR.