July 16th, 2019

Brooks-to-MH transit service a success so far

By GILLIAN SLADE on May 15, 2019.

gslade@medicinehatnews.com@MHNGillianSlade

A pilot project for transit service between Brooks and Medicine Hat has at times been running at capacity, says the City of Brooks.

“We are doing really well with activity to date. We’ve seen an increase in the number of patrons in the last three weeks,” said Amanda Peterson, deputy CAO for the City of Brooks.

The service began in February and since April 24 the numbers have fluctuated between six and 16 passengers for each trip, said Peterson. The capacity of the special-needs transit bus used is 16 plus three people in wheelchairs.

This regional pilot program is facilitated by the City of Brooks and made possible by a grant from the provincial government. The provincial grant was received in 2014 to supply regional transportation and there was $56,000 left over. It is these remaining funds being used for the pilot project.

The primary purpose for the service was to provide transit for medical appointments in Medicine Hat but is not limited to that. The service can be used to reach Medicine Hat for any other reason, such as shopping.

“It is a success to date. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next three months. We are very hopeful,” said Peterson.

The past three months have included plenty of preparation and a campaign to make people aware of the service in a community of people with diverse backgrounds, said Peterson.

“We are doing our information flyers in different languages such as French, Spanish, Arabic and Tagalog (spoken in the Philippines),” said Peterson.

Those wishing to use the service need to pre-book by calling 403-362-6190. The cost is $10 one-way or $20 for a round trip.

The project is expected to run throughout this year, as long as the funding lasts, and then a decision on its future will be made.

Additional information about the service and requirements for those planing to use the service is available online:

http://www.brooks.ca/650/Brooks-Regional-Transportation-Service

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