Rate increasing for Carman Handi-Van

The Carman Handi-van board had to make the tough decision to increase fairs in 2019 to help with upkeep of the vehicle. (supplied photo)

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With the fees to run the Carman Handi-van ever increasing, the Board of Executives has had to make the difficult decision to increase the fares to match the rising costs associated with the service.

The last increase was in November 2014, and a great deal of discussion has taken place around this issue because of the impact it will have on customers transported. Customers are important to this most-needed service in our community, but the Board must also be mindful and responsible in the financial operation of the Carman Handi-van.

The one-way fare will increase to $4. This fare will include additional short-stops (i.e. the bank or Post Office where the driver waits). Any stops where the driver leaves and comes back for a passenger will incur the one-way fare. A ticket will cost $40 which gives the passengers 11 rides for the price of 10 ($3.64 per ride). Tickets purchased prior to December 31, 2018 will be honored in 2019.

The Carman Handi-van Corp. began serving the transportation needs of seniors and mobility disadvantaged persons in early 1987 when the first van was purchased. Because one handi-van is operating in our community, the Mobility Disadvantaged Grant Program provides funds in the amount of $20,000.00 per year. Earlier boards did fund-raising through the handi-van auction for many years, and the corporation received the benefit of two very large bequests a number of years ago. These funds service the yearly deficit in operating the van.

In addition to the grant and funds invested, there are seven Carman businesses that have an advertising panel on the sides of the van. Fund-raising has been done through annual quiz nights and hot dog Saturdays at Carman Co-op. The Carman Handi-van also has an excellent relationship with the Active Living Centre, providing seniors with the opportunity for a day trip once a month. Donations are always gratefully accepted.

The present handi-van was purchased in 2013. Is it time for a new van? The Board is discussing this matter, but it is a very big financial decision.

The Board of the Carman Handi-van Corp. wants the community to be informed about the operation of the handi-van, and the need to make this fare increase at this time. They understand how valuable the service is to over 250 residents here – with over 7,000 one-way rides being taken during the year.