Riding the Bus Will Soon Get a Little Easier for People Needing Extra Help

By Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter TimminsToday.com Thursday, August 24, 2023

Timmins Transit riders who have qualified for the paratransit program will be given a pass that allows their support person to ride with them for free. An update on the item was at the Aug. 23 Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee (MAAC) meeting.

“Any person who is approved to ride paratransit in Timmins and requires a support person will have this card issued to them,” said Marcel Côté, Timmins Transit manager. “They will be mailed out with the acceptance letter.”

The passes will be mailed out to those who have already qualified for the paratransit program as well.

“The card is going to follow the clients,” said David Rivard, a MAAC member.

The cards will be made of a durable material.

“It can’t tear and it’s water resistant,” said Côté. “It’ll be about the size of a debit card.”

Some concerns about the accessibility of the pass itself were raised at the meeting.

“If I’m visually impaired, it would be easier if there was an imprint on the card to distinguish the card from other cards,” said Cindy Bergeron, MAAC’s newest member. “Since the card is being sent out, and it’s handy for them to have, it would be something a little extra to know which card is which.”

Options to include brail on the passes are being looked into and may affect the date the passes are available, said Côté.

“With the added brailing request I am really unsure on a timeline at this point,” said Côté “Typically our vendor has a two to three week turnaround time for our monthly bus passes. If the brailling is an option this may add some time to that schedule.”

The pass can only be used when riding with a person who needs assistance. It is usable on both paratransit services and conventional transit.

The process should be as easy as possible for families to access, said Coun. Bill Gvozdanovic.

“There are families out there that are not aware of this card and it is incumbent on the city to let them know it’s available,” he said.

Timmins Transit currently has six paratransit buses on hand, with two running daily.

There is not a set date yet for when the passes will be mailed out.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Original at https://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news/canada/details-on-free-bus-rides-for-support-workers-being-worked-out/article_cba963a3-fa8d-5d12-9097-6709c4b8d371.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=canada