In October, MoveMobility met with Terry, a town councillor in Teulon, MB and board member of the town’s handi-van committee based out of the Goodwin Lodge, Hunter Memorial Hospital (HMH) in Teulon. Terry graciously agreed to meet with us to discuss his experiences with the Ford Transit van purchased this past year and working with MoveMobility.
One of the key highlights Terry noted was the CEO of MoveMobility, Richard Jones. Richard was one of the biggest influences for HMH in partnering with MoveMobility. Terry explained, “it was great customer service, it was hassle-free and easy: When we started to look for a handi-van he was there locally, he brought it out to us, let us take it for a ride, and explained all of the features for it.” HMH’s budget had been increasing every year, taking a toll on their ridership and they were spending an unnecessarily large amount of money on older vans. The handi-van’s scheduling books are packed full with appointments, and they purchased our Ford Transit just so it could lessen the load on the two other vans on their fleet.
Why would you tell any other similar transit/handi-transit services they should consider the Ford Transit?
“Rideability, comfort, and being gas (we are having really good luck, it’s a good test to see how it compares to the previous diesel vans.) The service, in comparison, is the main thing I would recommend, they look after you if you ever have a problem with it! Which is awesome for us, because with a van down for 2 days, that really hurts the scheduling. It’s hard to juggle. When seniors and passengers have appointments to go see their doctor, they have to go to the hospital, it’s hard to change their appointments, and doctor’s don’t like that.”
What are the biggest challenges with running your handi-transit service?
“We don’t have any challenges right now, because we have all brand new vans now, there is no challenge with that. Breakdowns (to scramble to try and find somehow to fix it), there’s been on occasion, where we would have to get the drivers to use their own private vehicles because the van broke down or something happened. But, it’s not an issue, now that we have new vehicles now. You have to bring them in for small stuff, everything isn’t full proof! There’s bound to be some issues. Maintenance has been dealt with quickly and efficiently. It’s been very good.”
If handi-vans were to stop all operations, what would that mean to the members of your community that rely on it?
“The handi-van is booked solid, just about everyday it’s growing (see picture below). The government subsidizes the kilometers and the trips. We are 30% more this year than last year in trips. The handi-van service is part of that, because we are offering a third more service. So that’s why it probably went up, because we are operating that service. If we weren’t operating this service today, I don’t know what people would do without the service because there is no other means for them to get to their appointments...”
Do you see this continuing to grow in the next few years?
“The demand is there, and people want it. It’s gearing towards the elderly people and people with disabilities.”