Transportation West Inc. is celebrating 20 years in business. This not-for-profit organization is overseen by a volunteer board of directors and is managed by Sherry Tremblay.
They provide transportation in the Alberton, Tyne Valley, O’Leary, Tignish, Ellerslie, and West Prince area. They are also available for a fee to transport individuals Island-wide for such reasons as medical appointments.
The company has seven vehicles, including a 12 and a 15-passenger van. These vehicles also provide accessible transportation services for people with disabilities, seniors, and others with mobility issues.
“At the present time, we have three full-time drivers, two part-time drivers and two casuals,” says Sherry. “Some of our operators are retired bus drivers or operators from the transportation industry.
“The demand for our services is continuously growing,” says Sherry. “Three years ago, we were providing approximately 450 transports a month, and now we are up to 750 to 800 per month.
“As the demand grows, we as an organization need to grow as well. We recently ordered a new larger capacity van, and we are always recruiting casual drivers.”
Requirements for casual driver positions
- Class 4 driver’s license (at least for two years)
- Clean Driver’s Abstract
- Clean medical
- Clean vulnerable sector clearance from the RCMP
- Experienced working with seniors or anyone with a disability
- Punctual, ability to meet tight deadlines
How to apply
- In person at 116 Dufferin Street, Alberton
- Bring along an updated resumé, licenses and abstract
- Ask to speak with Sherry Tremblay
- Include references
New hires receive a one-week orientation that includes First Aid/CPR and WHMIS training.
A day in the life of a driver
Ricky MacLeod has been employed as a full-time driver for 10 years. Ricky has a regular daily schedule to pick up seniors, clients with disabilities, and anyone else who requires the service.
“It is an awesome job, and everyone appreciates our services,” says Ricky.
“Partnering with Community Inclusions programs, we provide transportation for their clients who work at Maple House Bakery in O’Leary.
“We also drop off people at other work sites, doctor and medical appointments, and the New Horizons Senior Meal program.
“One senior mentioned to me how very special this service is to her. She said that as a result of the transportation, one day of the week she knows she is able to get out and share a meal with others.
“Programs like these are so important. Without our services, these programs could not run in rural PEI,” says Ricky.
“I enjoy seeing my passengers each day, and knowing that I am making a difference in their lives is very rewarding.
“We have created a ‘Passenger of the Month’ award, where passengers are nominated by the drivers for their good deeds, going the extra mile to help someone, or always being positive and punctual.
“Our winners are featured on the wall in our office, and they are awarded a gift card.
“This is an excellent way to recognize ‘positivity’ and help spread it along the way.”
About the organization
Sherry relocated back home to PEI three years ago and became manager of Transportation West. She is pleased to be back in her home province and working with this organization.
“I am the full-time dispatcher, I do payroll and billing, and I answer all phone calls for transportation requests.
“I am also responsible to apply for grants. We were recently awarded funds for New Horizons for Seniors, a grants and contributions program that supports projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and their communities. This federally funded program offers local seniors free transportation and a free meal at a local restaurant in their own community. The program will run for 30-40 weeks with a possible extension.
“Seniors call to book a seat on our vehicle and provide their contact information. Once we know what community they live in, we let them know what services and restaurants they can access.
“This program runs four days a week in communities where we have partnered with three facilities that provide a variety of lunches to choose from. This is proving to be a huge success, and the seniors enjoy the free meal and the social time, making new friends.
“Also, if we have extra time, we often tour the local harbours. In Tignish, we offer a stop at the Tignish Co-op if anyone needs to pick up a few groceries.”
To register for the New Horizons for Seniors program, call Sherry Tremblay at 902-853-6010.
For more information about Transportation West and to inquire about casual Driver positions, contact Sherry Tremblay at 902-853-6010 or [email protected].