FALL RIVER: A new transportation service has expanded into the Fall River/Waverley area with a goal of meeting the rural transportation needs of residents in these communities.

At the Gordon R. Snow Community Centre in Fall River on Oct. 23, East Hants & Area Community Rider officially announced its expansion into the area, to service those with transportation requirements.

“We believe our close proximity to these communities positions us to provide for their rural transportation needs,” said East Hants Community Learning Association/Community Rider (EHCLA) Executive Director Tanya Burke. “This expansion has been a project we have been working on for a couple of years.”

She said over the next year the plan is to promote the service; recruit drivers and volunteers; seek financial support to continue to expand; and refresh their vehicle fleet.

The service is one where customers can get picked up at their doorstep; taken to their appointments or where they’re going; and assisted getting into their appointments by the friendly, courteous drivers from Community Rider. Their fleet of vans includes a wheelchair lift for those with mobility issues.

Fall River senior Sandra Carr (left) an unidentified woman ask questions to Community Rider’s Phil Laven about the new van aptly named Roada Rider, which has been added to the non-profit organizations vehicle fleet. The launch of the new service to Fall River and Waverley along with a ribbon cutting welcoming the new vehicle was held Oct. 23 in Fall River. (Healey photo)

The announcement of the service expansion was just one of the reasons for celebration and joy at the Snow Centre. Before a crowd of about 25 people from the community, including MP Darrell Samson and a representative from MLA Bill Horne’s office.

Recently, Community Rider purchased a new 2019 Dodge ProMaster 3500 from Move Mobility, a company based out of Manitoba. It includes smart-floor technology allowing for increased flexibility in seating arrangements; lower to the ground; and keeps the comfort of passengers at the forefront.

Burke said the purchase of the new vehicle was no small feat for the non-profit organization, who relies on funding from the Municipality of East Hants; the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs; HRM Transit; corporate members; volunteers; the business community and the larger community in general.

“Through $59,533 funding received from the Accessible Transportation Assistance Program, which is administered by the Department of Community Culture and Heritage, we were able to make the purchase price of $82,360.14,” said Burke, adding that a donation of $22,827.14 came from the N.S. Roadbuilders Association.

There was even cake and a demonstration and showing off of Roada Rider at the launch. (Healey photo)

Because of the generous donation, they had the opportunity to name the vehicle and thus the name Roada Rider came about.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held under overcast skies outside the Snow Centre in front of the new van to welcome Roada Rider to the Community Rider fleet.