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Should Access Calgary limit pickup to within 1km of Public Transit stops?

Calgary Municipal Election

Access Calgary is responsible for managing the eligibility, booking, scheduling and dispatching shared-ride, door to door public transportation services for Calgarians with disabilities1.  

Access Calgary recently introduced a 1km rule stating that service would only be provided to customers within 1km of Calgary Transit fixed-route stops2.  While customers within the service area pay Calgary transit fees, anyone living outside of the serviceable area is charged $20 for each 1 way trip3.

 

Access Calgary should Eliminate the 1km rule

Access Calgary should Keep the 1km rule

Customer Need

The people who use the Access Calgary’s service have a real need.  Access Calgary has a responsibility to provide service to Calgarians.

Not everyone is able to utilize other methods of transportation.  Cost, availability, and circumstance limit the ability of individuals to travel using means available to many other Calgarians.  Access Calgary should be available to help those who have nowhere else to turn.

Customer Need

Several alternatives are available for Access Calgary users such as travelling to a location within the 1km limits before riding with the service.

Customer Location

This service was recently introduced and people who previously had access suddenly found that they didn’t have access anymore.  Moving into the service area is a big task and isn’t an option for everyone.

Customer Location

Individuals who want to use Access Calgary should choose to live within the area where the service is available.

Cost to Customers

People who use this service depend on it as an important support mechanism.    $20 per trip is too much of a cost for such a vital service.

Cost to Customers

People who require the service should need to pay for it. 

Cost to Calgarians

Although no numbers are available, it is unlikely that the cost of providing service to Calgarians further than 1 km from fixed route stops is much more than the cost of providing the service to those who are closer to the stops. 

Cost to Calgarians

Although no numbers are available, it is possible that the cost of providing this service to Access Calgary customers is too expensive for the rest of us to pay. 

Alternatives

The distance of 1km could be increased to a different value to help more Calgarians, or a different criterion could be used to decide who is eligible.  Alternatively, those Calgarians who purchased homes before the introduction of the 1km rule could maintain their eligibility, thereby allowing new Access Calgary customers to better select a home.  (This option would not help those with a workplace or other destination outside of the 1km rule)  Alternatively, a better fee system for those outside of the service area could be developed.

 

References

1          Calgary Transit: Access Calgary

2          Access Calgary Handbook

3          Chris Harper: Access Calgary creating Access Problems

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