Transportation in Caledon Should Be a Hot Topic
by Fay Davy, Transportation and Support Services
Close knit communities, rural spaces and stunning landscapes are all part of what makes Caledon a wonderful place to live, work and play. Caledon’s enormous geography and lack of public transportation can make enjoying all that Caledon has to offer challenging without a vehicle. Imagine the feeling of isolation if you were to lose the privilege or ability to drive, and being dependent on family, friends or neighbours to get the necessities of life. What would you do and could you continue living in Caledon?
I have worked for Caledon Community Services (CCS) Transportation for 18 years and found that these issues aren’t usually considered until someone is in need. It is when one’s life begins to change or unravel, that transportation becomes a hot topic for them.
CCS Transportation provides 37,000 rides a year to Caledon seniors and adults with disabilities. CCS has mastered the challenge of the small population and large geography for transportation needs of the constituents we serve. Seven days a week, 12 hours a day, our fleet of seven buses and multiple volunteer drivers transporting clients in their own vehicles deliver on the vision of a “healthy, engaged compassionate community for all” by getting people to medical appointments, day programs, treatment centers, wellness programs and grocery shopping trips to name a few.
Access to Caledon’s Transportation does not happen without challenges. Eligibility criteria is set out by our funders: the Region of Peel and the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), and to meet operational demands, our volunteer drivers are vital. At the same time, these challenges present opportunities to be innovative and creative.
Since April 2016, CCS partnered with the Town of Caledon on a community transportation pilot program providing rides for Caledon residents who are not eligible under the regular criteria to better connect with the Caledon community. This pilot ends on March 31, 2017.
Today with the Town of Caledon, CCS and the Region of Peel all looking for ways to meet the growing needs in Caledon, partnerships will be key. Today transportation is a hot topic right across Caledon. Look for upcoming opportunities to become part of the solution.