© File photo
Pat and the Elephant.
ALBERTON — Pat and the Elephant and Transportation West will soon add new accessible buses and vans to their fleets as a result of a $354,542 investment from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund.
“Our government is proud to invest in transit projects that will provide P.E.I. communities with reliable, accessible buses, as we focus on creating jobs, promoting growth and building strong, prosperous communities in the province, and across Canada,” said Denis Lebel, minister of infrastructure, communities and intergovernmental affairs and minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.
Gail Shea, the MP for Egmont and federal fisheries minister, says access to opportunity is fundamental to quality of life.
“Millions of Canadians depend on public transit to get around, and our government is proud to invest in accessible transit service on the Island,” said Shea.
P.E.I. Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey says the purchase of new buses and vans will benefit Islanders by providing safe and accessible transportation.
“We put 50,000 kilometres on each of our vans every year, so this investment will help us renew our fleet and ensure our clients get the safest, most reliable transportation we can provide,” said Greg Peters, treasurer of the Pat and the Elephant board of directors.
Founded by Patricia Rogers in 1975, Pat and the Elephant is a non-profit organization based in Charlottetown that provides year-round service to Islanders and visitors who are visually impaired, have artificial limbs, are hearing impaired, or are wheelchair mobile. The purchase of two new specially-equipped vans will permit Pat and the Elephant to upgrade their fleet and to maintain the level of service provided to their clients.
“Demand for our services is increasing, and this investment will help us meet our commitments even when one of our vehicles is unavailable,” said Gordon Bush, manager of Transportation West, a non-profit that also provides accessible transportation for seniors and people with limited mobility.
Based in Alberton, Transportation West will be able to purchase a bus to transport clients from the West Prince to Charlottetown and Summerside, and another larger bus for four wheelchairs and 12 other passengers.
The Government of Canada contributed $354,542 from the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer to this project. The Gas Tax Fund provides long-term funding to municipalities across the country to build and revitalize their local infrastructure.
In Prince Edward Island, the Gas Tax Fund transfer provides over $15 million of predictable, long-term funding annually to help municipalities build and revitalize public infrastructure, says a news release.