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Not So Public Transportation-More Than Disabled Need a Handy-Bus

Editor's Note: This editorial is reprinted with permission from the Yellowknifer, November 17, 2004, courtesy of Northern News Services Ltd.

It's 40-below, there's a fresh three inches of snow on the ground and you need groceries.

But you're not going anywhere soon because you need a wheelchair to get around. Stiff weather and a blanket of snow don't mix well with wheelchair mobility.

Same goes for people using canes or walkers.

In a city of any size--and Yellowknife is one of those--a call to summon the handy-transit service would be a given.

Not here. Not yet. There's a taxi that will handle disabled people, but the cost can bring on a choking fit.

"Would you be willing to pay $30 every time you go shopping?" wheelchair-bound Cornelius Van Dyke asked city council recently.

There's more than the mobility disabled who need such a bus. Less than spry seniors need a transit service like this because it also comes to your door.

When the bones are fragile, an icy walk just one neighbourhood block long in the teeth of a January winter's day can be too much.

Both groups are generally on limited incomes. Paying for taxi trips can be too much of a drain on that income.

A combination of city money and sponsorship support from a service club or other partner(s) may be a starting point.

The city's devotion to public transit should not exclude a growing segment of Yellowknifers.

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