BUS Arrives On Time For Older Adults

Published: Wed 19 Nov 2008 04:17 PM
BUS Arrives On Time For Older Adults
Monday and Tuesday (November 24 and November 25) marks the celebration of older adults who are completing the “BUS for Senior Citizens/Kaumatua Programme”.
BUS or Bus Utilisation Service is a leisure education programme which encourages older adults to get out of their cars or shed their dependence on others for rides and use the existing public bus system.
It is being delivered by Hastings District Council with support from Roadsafe Hawke’s Bay and the HB Regional Council.
The pilot programme has been run over four sessions with two groups: Swansea Village in Flaxmere and the Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga Kaumatua Services.
The social events are based around morning tea, a mystery tour, and a Hastings Central Library visit and have included education and practice around accessing and using the public bus system to give participants the confidence to use the service in their daily lives.
On these, their final celebration sessions, each group has decided where they will meet up after departing from their local bus stop.
Participants (men in the majority) from Swansea Village are trying out the bus transfer and heading to Napier, while Kaumatua from Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga are headed into Hastings for morning tea and shopping.
Jennifer Leaf, HDC Community Development Planner says the programme breaks down barriers to mobility, encourages full participation in society, and fosters active healthy lifestyles.
BUS Leader, Linda Johnson, Recreation Therapist, has developed the programme and says there are many benefits.
“It costs less than running a car, there is less stress by not having to look for parking or arranging for someone to take you out, and you get the fitness of walking to the bus stop. It’s also environmentally friendly,” Linda says.
 Ms. Leaf says the programme has been timely.
“The course coincides with society’s focus on sustainability, rising fuel costs, the promotion of the commuter express, and as of October 1st, free use of the local buses during non-peak hours for those with a Super Gold Card.”

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