The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 249 is searching for money to buy a new commuter shuttle van in Houston.

His new van is in line for renovation, acquired by neighborhood partners.

The van dates back to 2016, when the Legion started to give veterans and seniors a free shuttle service, at a nominal expense to others.

But now that the Legion is expected to replace the car, two currency systems are being applied for the necessary funds, says Legion Secretary Joanne Woodbeck.

At the same time, after COVID-19, this spring’s pandemic the legion requested the Houston District to cover $5,400 for higher than average shuttle prices.

“These funds will enable us to continue to provide our seniors who live within our community with this essential service,” Legion President Don Woodbeck wrote in an appeal letter to the council.

He observed that demand for passenger travel has more than doubled since the beginning of mid-March compared to last year.

Each month, the Legion offers on average 90 drives for veterans, including medical appointments, induction orders and meal pick-ups.

And since March, the Legion has also supported a few low-income families to ensure that they access medical products and other important resources without being able to leave home.

Until now the Legion has been able to hold the operation without help from outside.

Other residents can use the service for $5 to cover the driver and a $5 to cover shuttle running costs as well as a free services for veterans and older people who choose to fly within the Houston District limits.

The Legion provides two drivers, handling nights, days and weekends.

The Legion application comes at a time when a wider COVID-19 grant awarded to the provincial government is being used to offset pandemic expenses by the District worth $100,000.