Dave Dale, the chairperson for the Sylvan Lake Senior’s Bus and one of three volunteer drivers, poses for a photo in front of the bus. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Dave Dale, the chairperson for the Sylvan Lake Senior’s Bus and one of three volunteer drivers, poses for a photo in front of the bus. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Patron numbers for Sylvan Lake Senior’s Bus on the decline

Dave Dale says the bus needs at least eight patrons from the twice-monthly trips into the city

The Sylvan Lake Senior’s Bus say the lack of clients on regular trips to Red Deer is costing them money.

The Sylvan Lake Senior Citizen’s Bus Association has changed its run times a couple times to help accommodate a smaller number of clients, though it hasn’t helped much.

Dave Dale, one of the volunteer drivers and chairperson for the association, says something needs to change.

“We are looking at our options… We just can’t run if we have less than eight people on the bus,” he said.

Dale says it costs around $100-$150 an hour to operate the bus for the twice-a-month trips into Red Deer, having less than eight patrons use the bus is not worth it.

“An at that point you have too look at the volunteers as well. We have to make sure their time isn’t being taken advantaged of,” said Dale.

In recent years the bus has changed its schedule from weekly trips into the city to twice a month, and even shortened the time frame.

Dale says this was done to accommodate fewer patrons, and requests for pick ups to start later in the morning.

“We used to have a devoted number of patrons from the Lodge and Bethany, but sadly they have all passed on. Now I believe the Lodge has their own bus, which means less patrons for us,” Dale said.

“We are looking at whether or not we still have a service to offer.”

He says the volunteers who run the association have done as much as they can to garner new clients for the trips into the city. However, there still seems to be many people within Sylvan Lake who don’t know the bus is an option.

“We put up flyers, we are in the paper, our posts on Facebook are shared a lot… We just don’t know what else to do.”

A potential option to help continue the twice-monthly trips is to cut down on pick up locations, and possibly also increase the cost from $10 to $15.

Right now the bus travels through Sylvan Lake to pick up patrons, and drop them off. Dale says this is the biggest cost facing the bus.

“We are looking at maybe having one central pick-up and drop-off location, like the NexSource Centre. That is what we do for our chartered events, and it does very well,” he said.

The chartered events, like the trip to Camrose to see the Everly Brothers or trips to Calgary and Edmonton, is what keeps the Senior’s Bus operational.

However, the bus is getting older and without proper funds coming in a replacement can’t be afforded.

“Right now the bus is in good condition, but it’s a 2003 and there are certain standards and requirements we have to meet,” Dale said.

According to Dale the 24-seat bus is inspected twice a year to make sure it is up to provincial standards.

The Sylvan Lake Senior’s Bus goes out the first and third Thursday of the month and makes four stops in Red Deer, costing each patron $10, which includes the return trip.

Members of the association are hosting a “coffee date” at the Senior’s Centre in the NexSource Centre on Sept. 30, 10 a.m., for those interested in learning more.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

The tree decorated in red decorations is called the Buffalo Plaid Cottage Tree. Papple says this tree has more of a "taditional, cottage-y feel." (Photo Submitted)
Sylvan Lake resident auctioning decorated Christmas trees to help local charities

Shauntel Papple is auctioning two fully decorated trees to benefit AACS and Youth Unlimited

A roundabout is proposed at the intersection of Hwy 11 and 781. (Photo Courtesy of McElhanney Engineering)
Twinning of Hwy. 11 to see roundabouts at Sylvan Lake, Benalto and Eckville intersections

Five roundabouts are planned along Hwy. 11 as part of the previously announced twinning

On Sept. 29 the First Sylvan Lake Sparks decorated the sidewalks at the Bethany Care Centre with pictures and uplifting messages. Pictured left to right are Maddie, Nora, Teagan, and Isabelle. At the time all Girl Guide meetings and activities had to be held outside. (Photo Submitted)
Sylvan Lake Girl Guides planning cookie drive-thru this weekend

The cookie drive-thru is Nov. 29 from 12-4 in the high school parking lot

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read