I started using the Handi-bus when I moved to Calgary in 2000. There was a Handi-bus in Aidrie and I used it when I was growing up. Now I take Handi-bus 5 days a week. Mondays and Wednesdays are vocational trips where I’m supposed by an organization and work trips on my own Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Sometimes I use them on the weekend if I go out with friends. Handi-bus is a big part of my life and I rely on it to get around Calgary. My wheelchair is a power chair and only fits in accessible vehicles. I can go from point A to point B but they’re not a good service. Handi-bus gives me a 20 minute window of time when they will pick me up and I need to be ready for that but they can also run late.
One of my worst experiences was when I worked downtown at Coles Book Store and it was time for me go home. Coles is upstairs and I needed to wait downstairs. I went to wait for the bus but they never showed up in the window of time. So I went back to get someone to call for me. They called for me to see where they are and Handi-bus said they were running late and will be there in next 15min. But they didn’t get there. After calling them a few times, it was closing time and there weren’t many people left in the mall. I saw a van cab and thought “finally they’re here!” but he was there for someone else and couldn’t find him or her. I asked him if he could please take me home. It was around 7 and I was done work at 5. All I wanted was to go home and he agreed. I want to thank him because if he hadn’t come, I don’t know what I would have done. And then I was in a bad situation with a Handi-bus driver. Before that happened I thought I was safe on the bus but now I am cautious with anybody who comes into my life.
Sometime I wish I had an accessible van so I don't have to use Handi-bus anymore but that is not the case.