Kingston Access Bus formerly known as "Kingston Bus For The Handicapped" is the oldest specialized transit system in the Province of Ontario.
“Kingston Bus For The Handicapped” is founded in September 1967. Several community organizations led by the Rotary Club of Kingston raised $10,000 to purchase a used school bus and install a commercial lift in the rear of it. Volunteers took trip bookings, and the vehicle itself was operated by off-duty City of Kingston Firefighters. The price to use the bus was $5.00 per trip (this would be the equivalent of $39.68 in 2021). The original annual operating budget was $5,600.
The City of Kingston began providing funding to the service through a $10,000 annual grant.
The “Q’Straint system” designed to tie-down wheelchairs is invented at Queen’s University and is tested on Kingston Bus For The Handicapped vehicles. In 2015 the system was in over 50 countries around the world, and was named one of the 50 greatest inventions in Ontario.
The former Kingston Township provided funding to expand the service to that area.
The organization formally changes it’s name to “Kingston Access Services”.
The former Pittsburgh Township is added to the service territory when it is amalgamated with the City of Kingston, and Kingston Township.
The “Kingston Area Patient Shuttle” service known as the “KAPS” program is launched to provide non-emergency stretcher transportation in the City of Kingston. This allowed regular land-ambulance services to focus on emergency responses. The KAPS program ran until 2018.
Eligibility is expanded to include cognitive disabilities, and unlimited use monthly passes are made available.
Kingston Access Services provides over 85,000 trips to over 4,000 registered passengers. KAS vehicles travel over 800,000 kilometres on 29 vehicles, and the annual operating budget is $3,200,000. The price of the service is $3.00 per trip.