Seniors and those with disabilities can look forward to safer and more accessible transit stops in Abbotsford, thanks to a unique partnership between the City of Abbotsford, the First West Foundation, Abbotsford Community Services and Community Futures South Fraser.
The Accessible Transit Stops Enhancement Project involves updating two local stops to include grab bars, larger shelter pads, grooved sidewalks, yellow tactile strips to alert users of the curb, and more space in front of the shelter.
One of the stops is located westbound on Marshall Road, north of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre. The other is eastbound on George Ferguson Way, north of Clearbrook Library.
The Envision Financial Community Endowment, housed with the First West Foundation, provided $7,500 towards the project.
“Accessibility and the overall safety of our transit system is always a priority in Abbotsford,” said Mayor George Peary. “By improving these bus stops and increasing the accessibility, our users will have a more enjoyable and safe transit experience.”
In 2010, the Central Fraser Valley Transit System served approximately 1.9 million people. Seniors, people with mobility challenges, students, youth and commuters were found to be particularly high users.
Several reports issued in the past two years have highlighted the need to address the safety and mobility concerns of seniors and people with mobility challenges.
In 2008, the Centre for Research and Education on Aging at the University of the Fraser Valley estimated there were more than 11,000 people in Abbotsford with mobility challenges, while the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies stated that many Indo-Canadian seniors do not have access to vehicles and rely heavily on transit to get around the city.