Sunday, May 24, 2009

Community Bus for Kingston?

I have an idea for providing accessible transportation to those who are affected by the Access Bus Strike.

I would like to ask the city of Kingston to look into the feasibility of adding a new bus service; a service known as a Community Bus? This service is provided in many communities and it has been proven to be very successful for seniors and those who have a disability. Kingston has something like this now with the A & P bus. The difference is, the A & P bus is privately run and it is not accessible.

What the Community Bus is, is a fixed route accessible bus service. It uses a vehicle much like the access bus and it travels along a fixed route to buildings where disabled and seniors live, and takes them to the shopping district or the area where the medical offices are located. People need not book ahead to take it. They need only know that if they're at their front door at the scheduled time, they can catch the Community Bus to go to these locations.

If Kingston could look into adopting this service by giving the contract to Kingston Transit, it would help restore service to those who are affected by the Access Bus strike. It will also get around the problems that are associated with the City of Kingston taking over the delivery of specialized transit from a non-profit charitable organization.

When the strike is over, it may also prove to be a financially feasible method of delivering service now that the Access Bus has lost so much of its funding from the school board contract. It is a service that could be retained after the strike is over to deliver service to people who don't drive or who don't normally qualify for the services of Kingston Access Bus. It would also be especially useful in winter. People may have to get used to structuring their day around the schedule of the community bus but it will still deliver door-to-door service so people who have difficulties using conventional transit can still get out.

I tried to bring this service on once before by volunteering my time to develop a survey, a letter, and a stats gathering tool, but the idea fell through when I realized I was in over my head because I was trying to take the project on by myself.

It is vital to get an accessible bus service back on the road soon so I will do whatever I can to help my fellow comrades who are literally stranded in their homes and who are being forced to miss medical appointments and a slice of this life. Many people I know are getting severely depressed so I am really worried about them.

All citizens of Kingston can help by phoning or writing a letter of support to the city council. It is vital that steps be taken to stop this travesty NOW.

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