Amid complaints of a lack of transportation options for seniors and people with disabilities in Terrace and the regional district, the Helping Hands non-profit group has bought a minivan to help those in need get around.
Ted Ramsey, who is Thornhill director on the Kitimat-Stikine regional district board and works with Helping Hands, made the surprise announcement at a Feb. 7 city meeting on accessible transport.
Helping Hands collects redeemable cans and bottles, using those proceeds and donations to fund projects for seniors. They’re hoping to partner with the city and the regional district to expand the accessible transport service as soon as possible.
“I want to put that out there to you guys that this is bad. If it’s bad enough to attract Helping Hand’s attention you need to kick in a little bit here. You can’t just ignore this,” said Ramsey in addressing the Terrace council.
“We purchased the van but they’re expensive to run. We have a driver, we have a van, obviously we have passengers. We’d like to partner for some operating costs.
“But we want a little bit more. We need five more vans. We got one, so it would be kind of nice if you guys would step up to the plate. We’re going to help because that’s what we do.”
Seniors and disability advocates in the area said they need a second handyDART van to meet growing demand.
City finance director Lori Greenlaw said spending would need to be decided in the city’s annual budget.
Ramsey said they plan to get started soon and their first passenger will be Terrace resident Yvonne Nielsen, so that she can attend wheelchair basketball in Thornhill.
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