Transportation is an issue that affects every rural Alberta community. Because few communities have a bus or taxi service, it is impossible to work and live in rural Alberta without access to private transportation. With a view to finding potential solutions to this issue, ARDN is partnering with the Association for Life-wide Living (ALL) of Alberta. ALL and ARDN pioneered the Battle River Bus (BRB), a regional transportation option for the Battle River Region. The BRB operates as a call-in service that runs once or twice per week, transporting the residents of small communities in the Battler River Region to and from Camrose for the day. The BRB benefits the communities it services in many ways; for example, providing connections to shopping, continuing education, libraries and tourism opportunities. It is particularly meaningful for seniors, who can now reliably access much-needed health and other services that may otherwise have been nearly impossible to reach.
While not perfect, transportation options like the BRB contribute to the viability of rural communities, by allowing people the freedom to live in rural Alberta without having to drive. This is particularly important for allowing seniors to age in place.
The ultimate vision of the BRB is to develop a system that will serve to connect the entire region in an integrated, regional rural transportation system based on existing assets. Ideally, the system will eventually include a daily service that would allow clients to access employment, as well as services.