In Feb 2003, Access Calgary/ Calgary Transit invited a few rural handibus stakeholders to:
"...Discuss transportation issues related to individuals living outside large municipalities."
With over 15 stakeholders (municipalities, service providers, etc) at our early meetings, we have been quite surprized at the number of communities near Calgary experiencing similar transportation issues.
Several factors will increase the transportation demand in the region's smaller communities in the next few years:
Population growth: The Calgary-region has some of the fastest growing communities in Canada. With this growth comes a proportionate increase in the numbers of seniors and persons with disabilities residing in rural communities. As communities
grow, other transit requirements related to socio-economic issues will also emerge to noticeable levels.
Ageing Population: Alberta's "ageing in place" strategy endeavors develop services to help elderly citizens remain in their own homes. Citizen's will be making use of home care services and community-based services. Accessible transportation
required to access community-based services is not part of the strategy.
Health Care Philosophy: Alberta Health's early discharge philosophy lets Albertans get out of the hospital earlier with post-treatment follow-up on an out-patient basis. Conditions precluding the ability to drive increases the transportation
required for post-hospital care (therapies, dialysis) etc.
Regionalization: The re-organization of both the Alberta Health and the Alberta Child/Family service regions will increase availability of Calgary-based programs to rural residents. There will still remain the obstacle of how to access
transportation to Calgary or to a program located in a neighbouring community.
The Alberta Government is reviewing funding for accessible transportation. Money is just one aspect of the development of transportation. Stakeholders also feel that a strategy for sustainable transportation is required.
This page functions as an archive for our discussions. Stay tuned for updates