The B.C. government is spending $1.23 million to fund shuttle buses for seniors’ centres, to get seniors to activities and medical appointments.
Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the locations Thursday, including a new 15-seat bus for Collingwood Neighbourhood House in his Vancouver constituency. Locations were chosen on recommendations from health authorities, and some identified other priorities for senior services that will be announced soon in Smithers, Prince George and other locations, Dix said.
Grants for bus service are:
• Archway Community Services, formally known as Abbotsford Community Services Society, received $70,000 to purchase a 15-seater hybrid bus for the society to replace the old bus.
• Chase Community Services Society received $115,000 to purchase and operate a bus to provide transportation to seniors.
• Scw’exmx Community Health Services Society, Merritt, received $115,000 to purchase a bus to provide transportation to seniors in the community, especially the frail elderly.
• Eagle Valley Transportation Society, Shuswap, received $98,000 to purchase a bus to provide seniors with essential transport services, including doctors’ appointments, scheduled surgical procedures at hospitals, optometrists’ appointments, cancer treatments and more. The bus is already in use.
• Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society, received $2,000 to purchase heavy-duty aluminum steps to assist with van access.
• West Boundary Senior Housing Society, Grand Forks, received $115,000 to purchase a bus to provide transportation to seniors in the community.
• OneSky Community Resources, Penticton, received $55,000 to purchase a bus to provide transportation to seniors for socialization, respite and to reduce isolation. The bus is already in service.
• Wheels for Wellness, Comox, received $105,000 to purchase three vans to expand transportation services across the Island Health region.
• Nanaimo Legion Branch 256, received $60,000 to purchase a small van to support transportation of seniors, both members and non-members of the legion, to attend medical appointments, social events and sessions that provide information and education.
• Seniors Services Society, New Westminster, received $40,000 to contribute to purchasing a new bus, which costs $115,000.
• Capilano Community Services Society, North Vancouver, received $150,000 to purchase a new bus to replace the 10-year-old bus that is no longer reliable. The society also intends to expand their service level into new areas of the North Shore.
• Collingwood Neighbourhood House Society, Vancouver, received $150,000 to purchase a new bus to drive seniors to appointments, social visits and outings.
• West End Seniors Network, Vancouver, received $150,000 for the expansion of the Life Unlimited program to include geographical areas not currently receiving the program’s services and broadening the medical appointment transportation and accompaniment service to include activities and social engagement opportunities.