Cochrane residents continue to top the list of users of the Rocky View Regional Handibus, according to its third-quarter statistics released Nov. 14.

Of the 1,099 registered users of the service, 509 are from Cochrane, says Paul Siller, general manager of the handibus society.

In the first nine months of 2018, 3,686 trips were taken by Cochranites, largely for medical, personal and respite purposes. That’s a nine per cent growth year-over-year and about a third of their total trips from the municipalities they serve.

In the society's service area, Chestermere ridership has increased 52 per cent year-to-year. Cochrane had been the leader in ridership growth for about the last five years prior to this.

"Chestermere is now experiencing a change in demographics," says Siller. "They use to be just a young family community and now they seem to have a lot more seniors."

Besides Cochrane and Chestermere, the handibus serves to Crossfield, Irricana, Beiseker and Rocky View County.

The Town of Cochrane contributed $189,504 to the society's operation for 2018, up from $168,317 in 2017. That's based upon a grant of $7.20 per capita. The society is seeking an additional 50 cents per capita from participating municipalities in 2019.