All rides on the Town of Redvers Transit Bus will now be free to seniors in the community for a year, after the town was approved for the NHSP grant. Above is the town’s full-time transit driver Sandy Russell. Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

After receiving a grant of $13,519 from the federal government’s New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP), the Town of Redvers announced they will be giving free rides on the town’s Transit Bus for a year to seniors and in the community. 

“We’re hoping to have our seniors get out and about in the community, to go for excursions in different communities and different locations,” said Tricia Pickard, CAO of the Town of Redvers.

“We want to promote getting them out of their homes for shopping necessities, for medical appointments, prescription pick-ups, and just enjoying life.”

The Transit Bus provides transportation around town to the elderly and people with disabilities.

The service is available from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Pickard said the town applied for the grant because they felt it was important to provide more opportunities for seniors in the community, while also helping them financially.

“They (NHSP) gave us a lump sum, and we had a plan of all of the excursions that we were going to go and do with the grant for a year,” said Pickard.

“If someone calls and they need a prescription pick up, we can take them free of charge. 

“We also have excursions planned once a month, sometimes a couple times a month, for them to go to different locations. 

“They went to the casino in the past, we’re hoping to go to the Peace Gardens, and just different places that they wouldn’t be able to go to without our transit bus where it doesn’t have to be out of pocket. We provide funds for their meals and other stuff.”

She explained why the town felt it was essential to assist with the costs of using the Transit Bus for seniors and people with disabilities.

“From running the transit bus for so long we see that our seniors want to get out, they want to be able to, but sometimes it’s not really within their budget,” said Pickard.

“We see that sometimes they don’t want to always reach out, so if there’s a way they can be connected to other seniors then it’s really good to get them out and about, and to see other people that are like them so that they’re not alone.”

Right now the town provides funding to have a full-time driver for the Transit Bus.

“We have a full-time Transit Bus driver and she is paid through the town. We get a grant through the ministry every year,” Pickard said.

“It’s basically a program that council always felt is really important to our community. If we break even that’s great, but they just feel it’s really important that we have this service in Redvers. 

“Typically the Transit Bus is operated in our community, but we can take people outside to go for a doctors appointment if they have to go to Regina, or the optometrist or something, we can take them. 

“That’s really important because sometimes seniors don’t have family that’s right here or people who can take them, and council has always been an advocate for the Transit Bus and it’s not just seniors, it’s for people with disabilities as well.”

From the grant, the town hopes to provide and improve its transit service for seniors in the community said Pickard.

“We just really wanted to do something for our seniors because a lot of times they are sort of forgotten,” said Pickard.

“Our seniors have been a great significant part of our community for many years so we wanted to ensure they can stay in our community, and wanted to offer services like these.”

By Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 26, 2023 at 11:58

This item reprinted with permission from   Moosomin World-Spectator   Moosomin, Saskatchewant

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