Colwood is looking to reduce wait times for disabled bus users. The Inter-Municipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, which has been working with the City and B.C. Transit, forwarded options to Colwood council identifying stops where riders with disabilities could benefit from improved accessibility.
The effort helps increase the chances these stops are closer to their residence, and reduce the number of stops those in wheelchairs, power chairs or scooters need to wait before they can get off.
“Our priorities have been to areas where there might have been as many as 10 stops without an accessible stop,” said Coun. Cynthia Day. “And (we want to) locate them near desirable destinations like schools and shopping centres.”
Day, who has served as vice-chair for the committee for six years, said 11 bus shelters were recommended to receive a cement pad with ramps. The pads allow bus drivers to safely operate the vehicle’s mobility device and gives people in wheelchairs, scooters and power chairs enough space to safely manoeuvre.
Exactly when these bus stops might be improved is unknown, but Day hoped to piggyback onto nearby projects wherever possible. “We just provided the list … and we are hoping that if they are working in that area, doing road improvements … they can possibly include that in a work plan and be more efficient.”
The top priority on the committee’s list is a bus shelter on Lagoon Road at Ocean Boulevard. The next two are at Kelly and Metchosin roads eastbound, and on Kelly Road at Sooke Road. Colwood has already seen five stops upgraded this year,
“It’s really important for everyone’s best health. We need to get out and about and enjoy being in community and we want to have as barrier-free a community as we can possibly create,” Day said. “And when we do that, I think we’re all benefiting from a community that is inclusive.”