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Drive Happiness to wheel seniors

By February 16, 2022No Comments
Elaine Schreiner, right, pays a $10 membership to join the Lloydminster Concerned Citizens for Seniors Care Society during the seniors’ fair at the Legacy Centre last Friday. Border Connects also provided information about a new Drive Happiness transportation service to be offered to Lloyd seniors starting in March. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

There will be smiles for miles for Lloydminster seniors with the rollout of a new transportation service called Drive Happiness, slated for March. 

Border City Connects is partnering with Drive Happiness Seniors Association in Edmonton to provide seniors with safe, reliable and low-fare transportation by certified volunteer drivers.

“It’s very exciting,” said Border City Connects’ executive director, Glenn Fagnan, who handed out brochures during the seniors’ fair at the Legacy Centre last Friday.

“This is is geared toward seniors that may have some financial issues and for people with health issues and may not be able to take regular transportation such as taxis and need that extra TLC.”

Drive Happiness will add to Border City Connects’ existing transportation services for area residents with special needs or mobility issues.

Seniors-assisted transportation began in Edmonton in 1998 with the goal to end the social isolation of seniors in Alberta who don’t have their own transportation.

The service continues to spread throughout Alberta to help seniors to maintain an independent lifestyle.

Volunteer drivers apply online and are screened to give seniors 65 plus rides for door-to-door medical appointments, shopping, banking or to visit friends and family.

“It’s a very low fee. You have the use of our volunteer’s vehicle and you have 90 minutes to get your errands done all for a cost of $10,” said Fagnan.

“We’re hoping, we’ll have it all set for the beginning of March.”

More details are available on the Drive Happiness website.

All the ride bookings are done by Drive Happiness in Edmonton usually a couple of days in advance of the appointment for driver availability.

“We look after the volunteers and make sure everything’s going right with them and look at that from this end of town,” explained Fagnan.

He says it’s a service that goes beyond the city-run senior taxi fare subsidy program.

“On the taxi side of things, a lot of times the drivers are just getting them to the curb and they have to make their way to their appointment or wherever they have to go,” said Fagnan.

“With our guys, the volunteers, whatever assistance they need, we’ll give them.”

Fagnan says the fair was also an opportunity to hand out information about express busses, shuttle caravans and the trishaw services, all for seniors run by his organization.

“A lot of people are not aware of our change from the Lloydminster Handivan (Society) to Border City Connects,” he said. 

“It’s all part of the branding side of things and being able to get that name recognition out there and chat with people.”