STAR (Seniors Transportation Access and Resources) is an initiative of BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation). BEST is a nonprofit charitable organization with the mission to activate better transportation options through initiatives, collaboration and leadership. Click here to learn more about BEST.
STAR began in 2011, with generous funding from the Vancouver Foundation and the United Way of the Lower Mainland. STAR worked with numerous senior-serving agencies across BC, conducting needs analysis, feasibility assessments, and business cases for more transportation services in local communities.
An evaluation of this work can be found here.
STAR also helped set up the Bus Co-op in Langley, BC, an experiment in formal bus sharing.
In April of 2016, BEST began coordinating Seniors on the Move, a Collective Impact project focused on improving and increasing transportation options for seniors in Metro Vancouver. Seniors on the Move is a project of Allies in Aging, a three year project focused on reducing seniors’ isolation. Allies in Aging is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program. The project partners for Seniors on the Move are Burnaby Community Services, Silver Harbour Seniors Activity Centre in North Vancouver, Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver, and Share Family and Community Services in the Tri-Cities area.
As a result of Seniors on the Move and listening to the voices of our Seniors Advisory Committee, we began working with stakeholders in 2018 to develop a Seniors Transportation Hub and Hotline. In June 2018, during BC Seniors Week, we officially launched the hotline in partnership with bc211. We also spent the week engaging seniors in various forms of transportation. See the photos of the launch week here.
This new STAR website is slowly becoming the Seniors Transportation Hub, with centralized information for seniors, their families, the community based seniors services sector, and other transportation stakeholders. ICBC, Vancouver Coastal Health, TransLink and the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program all provided funding and helped collaborate to make these projects happen. Many of the resources here are direct products of Seniors on the Move, while some are from the initial STAR development work, and others are links to great work done by other organizations.
While currently the hotline and hub are limited to Metro Vancouver, we will continue to work to expand the resources across BC, as funding allows.