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Resource Centre: Addressing the transportation gap in our community

In the heart of our small community beats the rhythm of transportation, connecting us to essential services, opportunities and each other. But for many in our community, transportation remains inaccessible.

In the heart of our small community beats the rhythm of transportation, connecting us to essential services, opportunities and each other. But for many in our community, transportation remains inaccessible. This month, the Be the Change project is focusing on access to transportation to amplify why making sure everyone can get around, no matter their situation, is so important. In particular, this affects our seniors, people with disabilities, young folks and those struggling with poverty. 

Without family nearby, volunteer programs, or accessible public transit, seniors can face isolation and barriers to accessing health care, social activities and community services. The Resource Centre is launching a survey on May 17 (check our Facebook page) to gather information and suggestions for senior-friendly transportation solutions, such as shuttle services, para-transit, volunteer driver programs or partnerships with ride-sharing companies. 

Supporting people with disabilities is also critical. Specialized transport services can break down barriers and enable individuals with disabilities to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Investing in accessible public transit and wheelchair-accessible vehicles is critical to creating inclusive communities. Right now, HandyDart is the only specialized transportation service serving persons with disabilities on the Sunshine Coast. 

Young folks also need more support. Thanks to the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) approved a subsidy for free access to local transit for youth ages 12 to 18. But as we wait for the rollout, there is more work to do. Transportation Choices Sunshine Coast (TraC) is a member-based organization that works to support healthy communities and reduce the local carbon footprint. For youth, more active and sustainable transportation alternatives such as cycling and walking are critical but still out of reach. 

For people struggling to make ends meet, transportation can be a significant barrier. It can mean missing out on job opportunities, limited access to healthy food choices and isolation from vital community resources. For families, it can mean having to choose between buying a bus pass and paying the bills. 

Taking care of our planet is important, too. In February, the SCRD formally declared that the Coast was facing a climate crisis. While climate change is a multifaceted issue, choosing greener ways to get around, like walking, biking, or taking the bus, is a meaningful contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

So, what’s the plan? Join us this month for our transportation pop-ups, where you can have your say and discuss how we can engage our local leaders, businesses, and neighbours to collectively advocate for solutions that meet our community’s diverse needs. Let’s build a transportation system that works for all of us! Details are available at resourcentre.ca. 

For more information about transportation options on the lower Sunshine Coast, the Resource Centre has created a guide that can be downloaded from our website. Visit: www.resourcecentre.ca 

Here are some helpful transportation resources: 

Care for a Lift offers supported, accessible, accompanied transportation to medical appointments, social visits, and more on and off the Coast: careforalift.com/contact. 

handyDart is an accessible, door-to-door, shared transit service for people with permanent or temporary disabilities that prevents them from using fixed-route transit without assistance from another person. You must first register at no charge. Call 604-885-6897 or visit bctransit.com/sunshine-coast/riderinfo/handydart. 

Pender Harbour Medical Transport Van offers transportation to medical appointments on the Sunshine Coast: $20 within Pender Harbour (Egmont to Madeira), $30 to Sechelt (Egmont to Sechelt), $40 to Gibsons (Egmont to Gibsons). Call 604-883-2764 or visit penderharbourhealth.com/services-and-programs. 

Sunshine Coast Connector Bus connects Langdale, Sechelt, Roberts Creek, Halfmoon Bay, Secret Cove, Madeira Park, Garden Bay Rd, Ruby Lake, Egmont, Earls Cove and Powell River. Please note, some stops are flag stops and some upon request. It must be booked online, sunshinecoastconnector.ca 

Coast Car Co-op carsharing lets you book the vehicle you need when you need it on a pay-per-need basis. The fleet includes a sedan, a hybrid, a hatchback family car, a seven-passenger van and a pick-up truck. Call 778-374-3092, email (email protected) or visit coastcarco-op.ca 

The Sunshine Coast Resource Centre is your community information hub at 107A—5710 Teredo St. We are open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact us at (email protected) or 604-885-4088. Search our online resource directory at www.resourcecentre.ca. 



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