Shuttle bus service sought for Langley seniors

Older residents are reluctant to ride public transit, survey indicates

Kathy Reddington

Seniors in the Township and City of Langley are being poorly served by an “unreliable” public transit system and should have their own locally-run shuttle bus service, Township council was told.

Kathy Reddington, co-chair of the Langley Seniors Community Action Table, presented the results of the 2014-2015 seniors’ transportation questionnaire at the Monday afternoon meeting of Township council.

The survey of 250 seniors, 167 in the Township and 83 in the City, found 71 per cent of Langley Township seniors were driving to go shopping and make medical appointments compared to 49 per cent of Langley City seniors.

A summary report filed by Reddington said the difference is because many of the Township seniors live in “car-dependent” areas without easy access to public buses.

Neither group was likely to use public transit.

Only eight per cent of the Township seniors took the bus, and 19 per cent in the City.

The respondents complained bus routes are indirect and take too long, don’t go where they want to go, don’t come often enough and they don’t feel safe in central bus exchanges.

The solution, Reddington said, would be a seniors-only shuttle that goes to the places older residents want to go.

A majority, — 73 per cent — of those surveyed said they would use a seniors-only shuttle bus if it went to at least four destinations that fit their needs and didn’t charge too much.

Most put the acceptable fee at around $3 a ride.

Reddington suggested the shuttle service could use the vehicle operated by the Langley Bus Co-op that was launched late last year by the Langley Seniors Resource Society (LSRS), Langley Care Society, and Magnolia Gardens with a donated TransLink vehicle.