October 20th, 2019

Brooks-to-Medicine Hat transit service will continue

By GILLIAN SLADE on September 20, 2019.

gslade@medicinehatnews.com@MHNGillianSlade

The City of Brooks says a transit service that began in February between that city and Medicine Hat is continuing.

What began as a pilot project was made possible by a 2014 grant from the provincial government to supply regional transportation. There was slightly more than $56,000 left over, said Amy Rommens, manager of administration for the City of Brooks.

It began as a service once a week on Wednesdays but since July has been increased to Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.

“We’ve been very steady so that is really good,” said Rommens about the number of passengers.

Many days there are four or five passengers and the odd day with just two, she explained.

“At least there are people on the bus.”

More people are aware of the service and the medical community has been made aware of the service to advise patients who need the service especially for medical appointments.

The bus leaves Brooks at 8 a.m. for Medicine Hat. The service departs Medicine Hat again around 3 p.m.

The cost has not changed and is still $20 for a round trip or $10 one-way.

That grant money has not been depleted in part because the service has been used sufficiently to cover the costs without having to be subsidized.

“We still have money to use and we will keep going for as long as we can … until the fund is depleted,” said Rommens.

There has been plenty of positive feedback from the public using the service. One individual in particular uses the service at least a couple times a week and has said if it wasn’t for this transportation it would be impossible to get to medical appointments.

“Everything’s been really positive,” said Rommens.

Those wishing to use the service need to pre-book by calling 403-362-6190.

The bus departs from the JBS Canada Centre in Brooks – 323 First Street E.

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