New Transit Ambassador Program Aimed to Get Seniors to Ride the Bus

A new program aimed at encouraging and supporting more seniors to take public transit is launching in the Comox Valley. The Transit Ambassador Program is a partnership with the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and Comox Valley Senior Peer Support providing a new, free service where seniors can book a volunteer to help them learn how to use public transit to run errands and attend appointments or activities.

“We want to continue to improve service and increase ridership on the Comox Valley’s transit system.” explains Michael Zbarsky, Manager of Transit and Sustainability for the CVRD. “The Transit Ambassador Program will help more seniors understand the transit system and feel more comfortable trying it out to see if taking the bus can work for them.”

The Transit Ambassador program is the newest of several programs in the Comox Valley designed to help seniors stay independent and connected to friends and activities. Diminishing mobility and a lack of transportation are serious barriers for seniors.

“Knowing how to use the bus will give seniors a viable transportation option, “explains Pamela Willis, Programs Manager of CV Senior Peer Support. “Seniors can book a Transit Ambassador that will support them every step of the way. Trying something new can be challenging,” adds Willis. “We encourage seniors in the valley to give it a try and take advantage of this new program.”

To be a Transit Ambassador, volunteers must be available for three hours per week, attend a training session on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016, pass a criminal record check and be available to participate in the formal program launch on Senior Ride the Bus Day, October 22, 2016. This fun-filled Saturday will feature three events at major transit stations with prize draws, entertainment and refreshments for transit users and seniors.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Transit Ambassador Program or those who want to volunteer are asked to contact CV Senior Peer Support by phone: 250-871-5940 or email, seniorpeercounselling@shaw.ca.

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling provides emotional support to Comox Valley seniors who are experiencing isolation, loneliness, and depression, or who are feeling vulnerable due to challenging situations face or endure. Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling also provides information and support to people who are caring for a senior as a caregiver.
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Media Contact:
Vince Van Tongeren
CVRD, Policy and Sustainability Analyst
250-334-6038

Media Contact:
Pamela Willis, Program Manager
Comox Valley Senior Peer Support
250-871-5940