Council discussing extending SMART Bus hours during summer months

In response to community feedback, council is discussing the possibility of extending Special Mobility Assistance Required Transportation (SMART Bus) service hours of operation in the summer months to accommodate the communities needs.

SMART Buses offer an accessible curb-to-curb service for seniors, and those unable to board regular transit. Hours of operation in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo are from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Local resident Koryn Krekoski helped put forward a petition earlier in the year asking council to extend the summer hours. The petition has received over 700 signatures.

While speaking with Mix News Krekoski noted that she also has mobility issues after suffering a stroke while pregnant with her now 6-year-old son, and that it has been difficult getting around Fort McMurray.

“We’re just hoping to have it (hours of operation) in line with other public transit. We feel like people with mobility issues should be treated the same as able-bodied people,” she explained.

Krekoski told Mix News of a friend of hers that is wheelchair-bound and unable to attend some of his favourite activities such as attending a Giants game because SMART buses do not operate late enough to take him home.

“My friend also wanted to join Games Night at Avenue Cafe which starts at seven at night, but he can’t go to that because the SMART Bus doesn’t operate at that time,” Krekoski said.

Mayor Sandy Bowman served notice of intention to bring forward the motion at the June 28, council meeting.

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