All non-essential services offered by the Disabled Transportation Society are being shut down as of Friday. The society’s board says a lack of funding and support from the City of Grande Prairie means the doors to the agency could also close by the end of June.
In a release, the organization argues multiple requests for adequate funding to effectively run the service have been met “with resistance and hostility.”
“This is a difficult and upsetting decision that the board is having to make, however, the city is refusing to credit the recent restructuring of the service. They appear to have their own agenda and due to the decrease in funding, we can no longer run the service.”
The DTS received $615,750 from the city as part of its 2019 Community Group Funding program, and later got another $100,000 from the County of Grande Prairie. Other funding can come from organizations like the United Way. The society has previously said its budget is around $1.1 million.
The Disabled Transportation Society officially became a charitable organization in the late 70s and provides door to door transportation for more than 500 residents who are unable to use other forms of public or private transportation. It previously approached the city in December 2017 looking to discuss having it take over operations. Staff later unionized.
As of May 31st, transportation will only be available to wheelchair clients who need the service to get to and from work, school, and medical appointments.
More information is expected later this morning. MyGrandePrairieNow.com has reached out to the city for comment.