Get on the bus

Raissa Tetanish
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Amherst resident faithful user of accessible transportation services

Amherst resident Pearl Dalfidan climbs aboard the Cumberland Community Transportation Services Society's bus at the Sobeys entrance to the Amherst Centre Mall. Dalfidan has been using the services on a weekly basis since the services started a month ago, and hopes enough people will use it to extend services to a daily basis. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News
AMHERST - For Pearl Dalfidan, having the services of accessible transportation at her fingertips is a blessing.
Since the Cumberland Community Transportation Services Society launched its operating schedule, Dalfidan's been riding the bus every week.
"Twice a week I use the bus to go to the mall or to Wal-mart and back," said the 58-year-old Amherst resident. "I moved back to Amherst from Toronto after 36 years and I couldn't believe there wasn't a bus. Amherst is big enough, I think, for the service."
Dalfidan says the service cuts her traveling costs in half than if she were using a cab - the bus costs her $5 for a round trip, compared to the $5 senior rate, each way, with the local cab companies. And just like a cab does, the bus picks up and drops off riders at their door.

Amherst resident Pearl Dalfidan climbs aboard the Cumberland Community Transportation Services Society's bus at the Sobeys entrance to the Amherst Centre Mall. Dalfidan has been using the services on a weekly basis since the services started a month ago, and hopes enough people will use it to extend services to a daily basis. Raissa Tetanish - Amherst Daily News

AMHERST - For Pearl Dalfidan, having the services of accessible transportation at her fingertips is a blessing.

Since the Cumberland Community Transportation Services Society launched its operating schedule, Dalfidan's been riding the bus every week.

"Twice a week I use the bus to go to the mall or to Wal-mart and back," said the 58-year-old Amherst resident. "I moved back to Amherst from Toronto after 36 years and I couldn't believe there wasn't a bus. Amherst is big enough, I think, for the service."

Dalfidan says the service cuts her traveling costs in half than if she were using a cab - the bus costs her $5 for a round trip, compared to the $5 senior rate, each way, with the local cab companies. And just like a cab does, the bus picks up and drops off riders at their door.

"I do have my license, but I can't afford a car. I used to take a cab everywhere I went. I think it's just great.

"I don't know how people making minimum wage can afford to take a cab to work every day."

Since she started using the services, Dalfidan says she's been promoting the bus whenever and wherever possible, even leaving posters up to let others know about it.

"But not a lot of people have heard about it. One couple heard me talking about it in a restaurant last week so they asked me about it," she said.

"I try to spread the word as much as possible so that it keeps going. I'd like to see it run every day of the week."

After some hard work to make the services available, the society started operating the bus a month ago, running two days per week.

If the demand and capacity is there, the society says they'll add more days to the schedule.

Riders needing the services are asked to call the society 24 hours in advance to its designated days of service.

Dalfidan says every time she's used the bus, it's just been her and her mother, aside from the driver.

"The driver is fantastic," Dalfidan said. "He even gave my mother and me a demonstration of the lift at the back of the bus."

Passengers pay a kilometer-based fare for the services, starting in Amherst and reaching out to the rural parts of the county. All fares include pickup and return with the exception of one-way trips within Amherst.

The services are available to transportation-disadvantaged individuals - such as the physically disabled, elderly, those with other disabilities and at an income disadvantage.

The bus will serve communities in Cumberland South one day, and Cumberland North another, with doctors working with the society to coincide any appointments being made.

For more information, or to book the transportation services, call 667-8149.

rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland Community Transportation Services Society, Sobeys, Daily News

Geographic location: Amherst, Toronto, Cumberland South Cumberland North

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Smoke Free Around Me
    January 18, 2010 - 11:13

    I think one of the reasons this service may affect the bottom line of local taxis' is the smoking issue. In 2009 a resident shouldn't have to ask for a smoke free cab! Look around when you drive through town and almost every taxi I see has a driver still smoking, not to mention the passengers.
    Though most of the public are aware of how hard you all work to make a decent living, there is no room for smoking in cabs in 2009. Period.

    I would not allow my children to be escorted in a local taxi in this area because of that very reason. I wouldn't appreciate my children smelling like an ashtray because of soiled cabs!! Who would??
    The power is in the hands of the owners', operators' and employees' of the local cab companies. If you do not want to lose a percentage of your business, I suggest you enforce the provincial regulations that are in place about ANYONE smoking in a cab.

    Now that the public have a choice, I can see where many of them will now go. An accessible, clean, bright, smoke free public vehicle is the perfect solution for this entire community. I know if and when my grandparents need to be somewhere, we'll be steering them towards this service.

  • Jeff
    January 18, 2010 - 11:09

    It is about time Amherst has gotten a bus, soo many people have rellied on cabs for everything.
    Its a great change for Amherst, as long as they dont keep raising prices like they do here in Calgary,

  • cumberland
    January 18, 2010 - 11:03

    The CCTS cannot sustain itself and is trying to drum up business by calling seniors (even those who have cars & are not inquiring about the services) to try to keep their bus on the road. This services was supposed to be for people needing to get to the doctors appointments & since has morphed into shopping trips thus cutting the throats of all Cumverland County Taxis, most especially those in Amherst. I wonder what they have to say about that. For the matter of a couple of bucks (for Amherst residents) they can now put their Taxis out of business. For Parrsboro, Advocate, and other areas that are farther out I wonder how long they will be able to keep this service before they are cut because of not enough business. I guess that's why CCTS is calling around for bookings now. Don't get me wrong, people need to get to their doctor's appointments, but I think if people & doctor's had of organized appointments for the Taxi, they could have seen even better rates (without funding from the gov. & Health Auth., & sponsors)- but, nobody asked them. I see they are also trying to charter out services. When in the past has it ever been been stated that this service was to be used for shoppers and to have the backing of government, the health authority, etc...Nice to see the government is not helping out small businesses & families to stay in the community. Another smack in the face to Taxi drivers & owners who barely make ends meet at the best of times and will likely force some of them to close their doors.

  • Hats off
    January 18, 2010 - 10:51

    Cumberland County has now been afforded a service to ensure anybody can get where they need to be. This service cannot sustanin itself so it is the responsiblility of all citizens across Cumberland County to check out the CCTS website, familiarize yourself with the service and utilize it. Seniors, low income owners, persons with disabilities and anyone else who is transportation challanged . Let's keep the transportation service in our community. We waited long enough for it!

  • o j simpson
    January 18, 2010 - 10:46

    you taxi guys o/o cried when there was new limo starting up in amherst WELL GET YOUR CRYING TOWELS OUT i,m back 3 new cars &one bar car see you in the spring ta ta . ps good luck with the bus service cumberland county needs it

  • rural parts of the county
    January 18, 2010 - 10:28

    I think this service is a very valuable thing for Cumberland County... I just hope it stays that way and does not go off the beaten track in the future and become just a Amherst Area service.
    The article above seems to be saying it is a great thing so far for the Amherst citizens so they can save money on a local transit service for Amherst instead of having to take one of their more expensive taxi's.