June 16th, 2024

New CityLINK is not working for everyone

By Letter to the Editor on September 9, 2021.

All we see in the paper is praise for the new CityLINK. How to sweep the truth under the rug.
I am so disgusted with the system and I don’t even have to ride on the bus.
Here are the stories that I know having been a witness to them or having them told to me.
I have spent over 20 years trying to create programs that help the independence of people with challenges. In order to participate, they need a proper bus system but in less than two weeks into a new bus system, I have people who have to leave my program because they can not safely and easily get home. The individuals that I associate with have found that rides that got them home within a half an hour or three quarters of an hour can take anywhere to two hours because they have a 20-minute walk to get home. They have had to wait or walk in unsafe areas in the dark. They had to make a choice of not continuing to do what they like to do.
What does this mean? First, a business lost business.
Second, they lost their independence.
Third, their mental health has been affected. Mental health issues are getting worse and COVID did not do it, CityLINK did.
Fourth, and the bus service has lost more riders.
I am also a guardian of a person who used to ride to all his appointments. Now thanks to the new system, he can’t. He has been walking or riding his bike but come winter what does he do? We are not putting out money for a system that is only useful for certain people. My son was one of the throw away customers that you had.
Oh, by the way, that the dispatch for Access ride and I bet others, treats the drivers is creating a rippling effect. On Friday, the way that one driver had the nerve to talk to an individual was abusive. If I hear it again, I will have charges laid against the driver and I will have it done every time that I hear it. That will also go for the regular transit drivers who would leave a people with special needs downtown with no more buses to transport individuals. The mishandling of schedules is putting people’s lives in danger.
How does having a person taking two buses to get home go to having to walk 10 minutes, caught four different buses to have to walk 20 minutes, help anyone? It does not do anything for anyone that has a physical or mental disability.
It doesn’t help mental issues and it doesn’t help seniors.
Finally, having to carry car seats with you while you carry your children to ride a bus downtown to go shopping does not help parents.
How many stories are out there? Write them, tell them and let city hall know that you deserve a proper bus system that helps everyone.
Lillian Westling,
Parent, Senior and Advocate/Ally, Lethbridge

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