Most people waiting for a bus are happy when it arrives, but the folks at Cowichan Lake Community Services were very excited to see a bus pull into their parking lot on Wednesday, April 17.
That was because the bus parking in their lot was a new Arboc bus that will now become part of the fleet of buses that serve the Cowichan Lake area. Angie Fournier of CLCS is excited about the new addition and the special features that it comes with it.
“We are thrilled to have a bus like this on our routes and very pleased to be able to offer a bus with these special features to our riders,” she says.
The special features Fournier is talking about include the air suspension that the new bus is equipped with which allows the bus to “kneel” when picking up passengers. This decreases the step height from the ground to the floor of the bus for ambulatory passengers and passengers with mobility aids, and also decreases the ramp slope when loading wheelchairs or scooters. The kneeling bus is equipped with a single loading door with a folding ramp which provides easy access for all riders and can be deployed over puddles or snow piled up against the curb. This is dramatic for wheelchair customers as they are no longer required to enter the street, or wait several minutes as a lift brings them inside.
Lynda Rowland, one of the bus drivers who, is excited to see it in operation around the lake.”This will be such a great thing for our riders and the drivers,” she says. “This will make it so much more easier for riders with disabilities to use the bus and the speed of accessing the bus now will help the drivers stick to their schedule, which will make everyone happy.”
The buses that serve the Cowichan Lake area are owned by B.C. Transit and CLCS is the operator. The buses serve the communities of Lake Cowichan, Mesachie Lake, Honeymoon Bay and Youbou and travel an average of 375 kilometres per day.
CLCS would like to remind everyone that you can take the bus to many places for only $2 each adult or $1.75 for a student or senior. For schedules or information call 250-749-3311.