July 07, 2006

A First in Bus Travel Comes From Canada

northern british columbia

Northern Health Connections provides transportation to medical services. Their territory, northern British Columbia, covers 600,000 square kilometers and includes 300,000 people. What is particularly farsighted about the assisted travel program that they will launch this month is the extent to which they have made their busses accessible.

The service will have custom-fitted coaches and buses. All of the new vehicles will be wheelchair accessible. Highway coaches will also have wheelchair accessible washrooms, a first in North America.

This region is a beautiful part of Canada. Integrating Universal Design into the regional healthcare system will be a boon to residents -- permanent as well as summer -- and provides a powerful impetus to the local travel & hospitality industry to become inclusive.

Northern Health Introducing Assisted Travel

By Opinion 250 News
Friday, July 07, 2006 12:02 PM

Northern Health is almost ready to begin phasing in a low-cost travel program for those who must go to larger centres for specialized health services. The new program is part of the Province’s commitment to expand access to health services for rural residents.

"The hope is the start of this service will make a real difference to Northern British Columbians, particularly seniors and people with limited incomes for whom travel for specialized health services has been a problem," says Deputy Premier/Prince George Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond.

The new service will be gradually introduced to communities, to give time to work out problems and to get feedback on the service, says Northern Health CEO Malcolm Maxwell.

The service will have custom-fitted coaches and buses. All of the new vehicles will be wheelchair accessible. Highway coaches will also have wheelchair accessible washrooms, a first in North America.

Most long distance routes will have a minimum of two round trips a week. Short distance routes will have one same-day, round trip per week, letting a patient from a small community to travel into a larger center in the morning, receive health service, and return later that day.

The service will be available for any Northern BC residents who need a physician-referred health service that isn’t available in their home community. Fares will range from $20 return for short distance routes, to between $40 and $80 return for long distance routes, depending on the length of travel. Patients can find out specific travel dates and fares or reserve a seat by calling 1-888-647-4997. Information is also on-line at www.northernhealth.ca/nhconnections.

Source:

http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/2992/3/northern+health+introducing+assisted+travel

Other bus news:

Singapore has modified 100 bus stops and purchased 10 accessible buses through its Land Transport Authority. Quoting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan "Getting on a public bus is just step one. The real objective is that they can go to work, to schools and enjoy recreational activities."

Meanwhile, in the west of England the Greater Bristol Bus Network nods to Universal Design by incorporating improved passenger i nformation on low-floor busses.

Key features of the proposed showcase bus corridors will include: more dedicated bus lanes, priority for buses and enhanced traffic signals, improved passenger information, modern low-floor buses, plus significant improvements in road safety, as well as specific measure to improve access for cyclists and pedestrians.

Source:
http://www.24dash.com/content/news/viewNews.php?navID=2&newsID=7836

Posted by rollingrains at July 7, 2006 11:20 PM