Elders in Pond Inlet to get bus service by late 2023
Hamlet using federal funding to purchase its first bus
Elders in Pond Inlet will be able to get a lift to their medical appointments and to buy groceries come September 2023, when the hamlet’s first bus hits the road.
In April, hamlet council directed staff to apply to the federal Rural Transit Solutions Fund for help to purchase a transit bus for the community.
The application was successful, and Pond Inlet will receive $150,000 in one-time capital cost funding from Infrastructure Canada, hamlet chief administrative officer Dave Stockley said in an interview.
“This will be a transit system for the elders or those with a disability that need to get from point A to point B and don’t have a vehicle or a way to get to their appointment,” he told Nunatsiaq News.
The local health centre will be responsible for identifying which community members are eligible to access the free service.
Staff there will make referrals to the hamlet office to book appointments for riders, and hamlet staff will be responsible for co-ordinating rides and providing a driver, Stockley said.
“This will help out a lot of people in the community,” he said, “and eventually we hope to expand to two to three vehicles for a full transit system for Pond Inlet.”
Stockley said while the hamlet of about 1,500 residents is actively pursuing additional funding for ongoing service, there is room in its operating budget to cover maintenance and service costs for the single bus.