Seniors Helping Seniors recently received a grant from the City of Kimberley to purchase a Trio Taxi push bike. Cathy Korven, who works with Seniors Helping Seniors in Kimberley, wrote to Council to ask for a letter of support to help them apply for further grant funding through Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional District of East Kootenay.
At a regular City Council Meeting on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, Council approved the request for a letter of support.
Seniors Helping Seniors is a program that establishes a supportive connection between a volunteer and a senior in need. Volunteers provide seniors with many services such as: transportation, a walking partner, social opportunities, light repairs, relief from caregiving responsibilities and peer support.
Councillor Albert Hoglund says that the bike could help get people to and from Gardenview and Townsite down to the Platzl or Cominco gardens, or even help those in Marysville access downtown via rails to trails, especially in the summer months.
The Trio Taxi is a bike that is specifically designed to transport elderly people, with an accessible seat for those with mobility issues. The bike is designed to go long distances, uphill, while absorbing bumps along the way.
“This is not your average bicycle,” explained Councillor Darryl Oakley. “It’s very heavy duty, as you can tell by the cost, it’s very expensive. Seniors Helping Seniors have been working with Kootenay Mountain Works to get access to a distributor. They vetted out a whole pile of distributors for certain brands that are not going to work in Kimberley because of the mountainous terrain. So they found this one brand that’s made in the Netherlands that is very heavy duty. It’s got super heavy breaks and it’s geared properly. It also has a really strong electric motor to get them around, back and forth to the Pines etc. It’s also designed to allow folks to move relatively easy from a wheelchair onto the seat.”
According to Kootenay Mountain Works, the regular retail on a Trio Taxi is $10,300.
“We would need to order them with a 500w Bionic motor to work in Kimberley,” said Trevor Knight of Kootenay Mountain Works. “I am a Bionic dealer so warranty would be good with that option. The motor would be more money than the quoted price, but they are not sure how much, as nobody has asked them for that setup yet.”
Knight says that he thinks it could be an excellent program for the town, and would want to volunteer as a rider.
Councillor Oakley agreed, “I think it will be a welcome addition, to start with the one taxi service and volunteers. I’ve had a lot of people approach me [to volunteer] already, and I’m sure Seniors Helping Seniors has as well. This is utilized in Canmore right now and it’s very popular in Europe as well.”