By Greg Bennett
A new transportation service designed to provide people with affordable, wheelchair accessible, door-to-door transportation was launched in Shelburne County last week.
The official launch for the Sou’West Nova Transit Association saw more than 120 people gather at the Shelburne Community Centre on Thursday, Sept. 20 to celebrate the event and to learn more about the service.
The service rests on trained volunteer drivers using their own vehicles and on professional drivers using the association’s 14-passenger wheelchair accessible bus.
While priority will be placed on providing access to essential services like medical appointments and grocery stores, other transportation requests will be welcomed. As well as the door-to-door service, the association plans to offer charter trips with its bus and shopping shuttle services.
The association has been primarily funded by grants from the province and by grants and in-kind donations from local municipal units and many thanks were offered by association members.
During Thursday’s ceremony, there were also representatives of several other rural transportation providers in attendance and special recognition was given to Transport De Clare, a sister organization that was described as being of great help in the development of the Shelburne organization.
During the launch, a plea was also sent out for more volunteer drivers to add to the six the service currently has. The event also saw the official dedication of the 14-passenger bus to the memory of Terry Smith, a well-known community volunteer who had been a founding member of the association.
A memorial fund has been set up in Smith’s name to provide fare subsidies to riders who have financial hardships.
For more information on becoming a volunteer driver or to book a ride (rides have to be booked 24 hours in advance) call 637-2572 or visit SouWestNovaTransit.ca
The first shopping shuttles were set to begin on Thursday, Sept. 27 for residents of Barrington Municipality to Barrington Passage and on Friday, Sept. 28 for residents of Shelburne Municipality to the Town of Shelburne.