News Local

Bus service won't go forward

Darren Ridgley

A pilot program to establish the potential need for a bus service in Stonewall has come to an end after a three-month trial period.

The service, put on from August to October through a partnership between the South Interlake Senior Resource Council and the Stonewall and District Handivan Service, began the trial period on Aug. 3, originally intending to continue the service through the end of September, when they might have enough data to determined whether or not to keep the service going.

The bus service involved having the Handivan travel a route through Stonewall each Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., picking up people along the way for a $3.50 one-way fare. The idea came about following a Stonewall Age-Friendly Committee report which highlighted the need for more transportation in town.

However, the first trial run wasn't quite enough time to get an impression of how needed the service was, and so they extended it for another month, and the trial officially ended Oct. 26. They determined that the service was not being used enough to continue indefinitely.

"Over the last three months we have tried to institute the shuttle bus run here in Stonewall, to see if there was further need for more transportation," said SISRC resource coordinator Diane Harrison.

"The response was that it was not viable for it to continue."

However, while Harrison says the bus service won't be continuing, she pointed out that the SISRC will still provide rides where people can call and get a ride in town or to locations such as Selkirk and Winnipeg (She says they prefer to have two days' notice). The service runs 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Rides are $6.

She also said the Handivan is available to provide rides for seniors in town for a $3.50 charge each way. The Handivan, she says, also prefers to be given notice of any rides they might be asked to provide.

Harrison thanked the Handivan committee for their support of the program. Anyone with any questions, or who would like to contact the senior resource council for a ride, can contact either Diane or Darcy at 467-2719. The Handivan service can be reached at 467-9446.