As everyone in Hope knows, there was a time when there was no means of transport available in Hope, except for taxis. This was “Tough Luck” for any senior who lived alone and lost their driving licence. The same for senior couples when both could no longer drive and again the same for people with disabilities. However, thanks to a small group of concerned citizens, an organization was formed named Care Transit. Primarily there were only two drivers with the necessary qualifications and the aim was to arrange transport for seniors who had medical appointments in Hope or down the valley.
Recently, more volunteer drivers have been recruited and services have been significantly extended. The drivers are carefully chosen, have clean driving records and have passed the appropriate proficiency tests for the job they are doing. There are two methods of transportation. One is a small 12-seater bus with space for two wheelchairs. The other is by car. The drivers donate their time and the use of their cars. They are paid milage for the journey.
Here are some of the services now available:
• A seniors morning in Hope (The first Monday every month 10 a.m. to 1 p.m): This will allow you to do your banking, your mail, and pick up items you need from the stores. You will notice that this trip has been arranged on the day that Fields and several other businesses offer a senior’s discount. When you have finished your errands, you may be inclined to finish up your morning by having coffee or lunch with a friend before taking the bus home. The bus will pick you up and take you home. You must purchase a $3 travel card from Care Transit, located at Trails Crossing Friendship Centre on Wallace Street. It is wise to book your trip early as the bus has limited capacity.
• Cottonwood Mall (The last Wednesday of every month): The trip to Cottonwood Mall will cost each rider $12 fro the return journey. By the way, there is a pedestrian crossing from the mall that will take you past Mark’s Work Wearhouse to the Superstore. There is also a pedestrian crossing from the mall to stores such as Winners, Reitmans and Safeway. By walking a little way up the road past Wendy’s, you can use another pedestrian crossing to safely reach Canadian Tire. This trip picks up at 8:30 a.m. and returns from Cottonwood Mall at 2 p.m. Again, book early.
• Cascades Casino in Langley (Sunday, Oct. 14): Leaving Hope at 11 a.m. Leaving Langley at 5 p.m. Cost of return journey $23. This trip can be repeated if there are enough people to fill the bus.
This is the situation at the moment. So, get together with your friends and support these efforts to make our lives easier, more interesting and comfortable. It takes considerable planning and effort to arrange these trips. If they are well supported, there may be more! Those you don’t use, you may lose as it will appear that the effort is not worthwhile.