AMHERST – Cumberland County Transportation Services Society’s efforts to raise money for a new bus received a boost Jan. 22 when Amherst Mayor David Kogon presented the society’s chairman Bruce Cuco with $5,000 cheque.
“The Town of Amherst is very pleased to be able to help this organization meet its goal of getting a new bus because the society provides a valuable service to the residents of this community and throughout Cumberland County,” Kogon said as he presented the cheque to Cuco, who was accompanied by the society’s vice-chairman Peter Lewis and its operations manager Helen Sims.
“We very much appreciate the town’s donation,” Cuco said. “We very much need the new bus in order to continue our mandate.”
That mandate includes helping seniors, day cares and community organizations in Cumberland County access affordable transportation for such things as work, school, doctors’ appointments and specialized programs, such as the seniors VON day program, mental health programs, seniors’ bowling and children’s activities.
The society estimates their buses served about 209 clients on a weekly basis during 2017 and travelled about 24,000 kilometres per month getting people to their appointments, some of which are as far away as Halifax.
The need for a new bus surfaced when two of the society’s fleet of five had to be retired in the last year because of high maintenance costs.
The new bus they hope to obtain in the spring is an eight-passenger unit that has the capability to handle up to three wheelchairs. It costs $85,000 and while the province is covering 66 per cent of the cost, the society must raise its share – $29,000 – before the bus can be purchased.
“We have received several donations from various groups, including the town, that we really appreciate, but we still need to raise $3,000 in order to meet our goal,” Cuco said.
Anyone who may wish to donate to the cause can contact the society at 902-667-8149 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.