Le Transport de Clare, Digby
SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Le Transport de Clare, Digby County
The following is a feature story from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on Dial-A-Ride Nova Scotia.
Volunteers play an essential role in every community and Le Transport de Clare in Digby County illustrates this idea in a tangible way. The service, which is part of the provincewide Dial-A-Ride program, credits its success to people in the community who give their time as volunteers.
Dial-A-Ride Nova Scotia provides transportation services for Nova Scotians who need safe, affordable and accessible transportation. It offers a wide range of services, including wheelchair- accessible vehicles for people with special mobility needs.
Claredon Robicheau, volunteer founder and co-ordinator of Le Transport de Clare, said that 90 per cent of the program is run by volunteers.
"It is very much community-based and very much community- supported," said Mr. Robicheau.
In the past year, the service provided rides for about 6,500 passengers, and program volunteers logged about 65,000 kilometres.
The program was one of the first inclusive transportation programs operating in the province. Program volunteers have provided transportation for people in the community since April 1996.
"The program is basically for the whole population of Clare, but the focus is on people with disabilities, seniors aged 55 or older and people who have low incomes," said Mr. Robicheau.
In 1999, Le Transport de Clare was presented with a national award by the Council for Canadians with Disabilities for their efforts.
"It's nice to be recognized nationally for our work," said Mr. Robicheau.
In areas where there are Dial-A-Ride programs, the service can pick up residents at home, take them where they need to go and return them later in the day. It is essential for those who cannot afford transportation by other means to travel to medical appointments, job interviews and other activities.
Up to one-third of the funding for Dial-A-Ride comes from the provincial government, while non-profit community-based organizations raise the rest of the funds.
"This service is helping to improve the lives of many Nova Scotians and we're proud to take part in it," said Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "We're grateful to volunteers and community organizations who have come together to make it happen."
More information about Dial-A-Ride Nova Scotia is available on the Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Web site, at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/dialaride , or the toll-free hotline at 1- 877-305-RIDE (7433).