Wheelchair users lament loss of full-serve stations
The disappearance of full-serve gas stations is making driving more difficult for people with mobility issues.
She can't use a gas pump because of her wheelchair, as well as limited hand function.
"I used to go to quite a few stations that used to be full-serve, but I can't go there anymore because they've all switched to self-service," she said.
"There was a gas station by [my] home that went fully self-serve," she said. "I guess it makes me feel not invited. It's like having a barrier that's gone up and I can't get in there."
Only five full-serve stations remain
Access Guide Canada lists 50 full-serve stations in Calgary, but only five say they still provide the service.
Petroleum analyst Michael Ervin says in the past decade, there has been a 60 per cent drop in full-serves nationwide.
"Full serves have the disadvantage of having high costs – you need at least one more attendant at a gas station – and typically low volumes so that's a double whammy for dealers."
The big gas companies say they will provide assistance at self-serve pumps when they have enough staff. Drivers with special needs have to go inside and ask for assistance, or call ahead before they arrive.
That's an alternative Erho says doesn't work.
"I'm not going to know where I am going to be and have all these gas stations programmed into my phone so I can call," she said.
"It's making it harder for me to get around, on my own with my own vehicle, whether it be to work out in the community or wherever I need to go."