Nelson CARES Society spearheads Wheelchair Accessible Van survey
The Kootenay Carshare Cooperative and the Nelson & District Seniors Coordinating Society have banded together to explore the option of adding a wheelchair accessible van to the Kootenay Carshare fleet.
The project, initiated by the Nelson CARES Society, is part of the Age Friendly Community Initiative (AFC).
The AFC has determined that there is no public access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle in the West Kootenays and is working with the community to address this gap in transportation services for seniors and other persons with mobility challenges.
“Having an accessible vehicle for community use would allow a family member to take a senior on a social outing that they might not be able to get to with public transit options like HandyDART” – and with carsharing, it’s a lot more affordable than buying an adapted vehicle,” said AFC Initiative Coordinator Corrine Younie in a written statement.
Younie said an example of the problem happened in 2014 when a local resident was unable to make arrangements to bring her parent – who uses a wheelchair – to a family event.
“After some investigation she found that there are no Nelson taxis that can accommodate a wheelchair nor is it possible to rent an accessible vehicle from a car rental agency in the area,” Younie explained.
“According to Spinal Cord Injury BC, they often receive calls from people needing wheelchair accessible transportation in the West Kootenay and Nelson area.”
Younie said examples given range from a parent wanting to attend her daughter’s graduation to a gentleman planning travel to this area by plane but realizing there would be no ground transportation available to him once he got here.
Partnering with Kootenay Carshare Cooperative allows people to book the vehicle when you need it and only pay for the time you used it and the kilometres you drove.
The AFC has created a survey to determine the need for a wheelchair accessible van in the area.
Interested area residents are encouraged to fill out a brief survey that will help Kootenay Carshare decide if such a vehicle would be a good addition to their fleet.
The survey can be accessed at this link:
The survey is also accessed on the Kootenay Seniors website at or by e-mailing email@example.com. Print versions of the survey can be picked up at Nelson CARES, 521 Vernon Street and at Nelson & District Seniors Coordinating Society, 719 Vernon Street.
For information about the Wheelchair Accessible Van project or the Age Friendly Community Initiative contact 250-352-6011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on how Carsharing works visit www.carsharecoop.ca.