Calgary

Open houses give seniors chance to share why they do — or don't — use Calgary Transit

Senior citizens are being given the opportunity to weigh in on why they use — or don't use — Calgary Transit.

Seniors can weigh in until Feb. 11

Calgary Transit held a series of open houses for seniors to give feedback on the service. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Senior citizens are being given the opportunity to weigh in on why they use — or don't use — Calgary Transit.

The city hosted a series of in-person consultations to assess how well transit is serving citizens 65 and older.

Ron Jones takes the bus at least twice a day, most days, along with his wife.

He attended one of the open houses on Saturday to share his concerns that the city isn't clearing sidewalks and snow piles near bus stops, which makes it difficult for his wife, who has a disability, to use transit. 

"The biggest thing is that if my wife falls at her age, and the fact that she has osteoporosis, her bones will never repair properly," he said. "So this is a big concern, it's a safety concern."

Ron Jones attended a Calgary Transit open house on Saturday to share his concerns with the large piles of snow blocking access to buses and bus stops. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

Others attended to share what they liked about Calgary Transit.

"Besides what was wrong, I wanted to tell them what was right," said Barbara Lafrentz said. "The city buses are pretty much on time, except of course bad weather." 

Andrea Adams, customer experience lead for Calgary Transit, said it was important to give seniors an in-person opportunity to share their concerns.

"We can get a lot of feedback through surveys. We can get customers for example telling us that safety and security is important. But we don't really get to the why. So the why is really the main advantage of doing in-person," said Adams.

Andrea Adams is Calgary Transit's customer experience lead. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

"We'll have to get all the feedback and digest what we've heard. But it's changed my understanding a little about how important I thought safety and security was for seniors, and it's elevated the importance in my mind after listening to seniors for the last week."

While the in-person consultations have wrapped up, seniors will still have be able to have their say either online at engage.calgary.ca/seniorstransit, or by phone at 403-262-1000, until Feb. 11.

The consultations are being held as part of the city's Seniors Age-Friendly Strategy. Transit is set to report back to city council in June 2018 with recommendations regarding fares and service.

With files from Anis Heydari

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