Our Mission Statement

It is Carefree Society’s mission to offer a highly efficient, safe, and reliable integrated custom transportation service for residents in the City of Prince George.

Our Value Statement

Carefree Society strives to give care and attention to persons with specialized transportation needs. With teamwork and information sharing, we enhance the efficiency and quality of service, therefore improving the quality of life of our clients.

For the Media

July 24, 2023

After over 50 years of dedicated service to the community, the Carefree Society will no longer be the HandyDart operator in Prince George. PG Transit, a subsidiary of PW Transit Canada, has been awarded the contract to deliver the door to door, shared-ride service for people with disabilities, effective August 1, 2023 and currently operates the conventional bus services in Prince George and have been doing so for the last 58 years. The service was started by Kirk Gable to help seniors, using personal vehicles and with funding through a Federal government local initiatives project. It grew to provide service to all people with disabilities within the year and was incorporated as a non-profit society. The service was founded on a belief that persons with disabilities would not be fully empowered citizens of their community without transportation that allowed them to fully access the community. A reliable, accessible transportation system meant access to medical care, education, voting, community involvement and other basic rights of all citizens. This was the mission of the organization.

Lilla Tipton was hired as a driver and together Gable and Tipton along with many other enthusiastic and dedicated workers and volunteers, they created the first transportation service for people with disabilities in BC.  In 1973, a newly elected NDP government embraced this great idea and agreed to fund the service through the Ministry of Human Resources.  In 1981, BC Transit, founded in 1979, start providing custom transit services and contracted with the Carefree Society, who became a leader in providing transportation service for people with disabilities throughout BC and beyond. Tipton was hired to help set up a number of services in communities in BC and later because Carefree Society’s rides per hour were highest in the province, BC Transit contracted with her to write a dispatching manual that became the go to guide for operators in BC and the eastern states in the USA when the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee hired her to train dispatchers.

Don Hagreen, one of Carefree’s long term drivers, was a computer programmer and designed the first dispatching program used in BC.  This program was used in start up of services in small communities all over BC. In the early days, there was no such thing as wheelchair lifts and ramps on the buses. In fact, there was no such thing as small, specialized buses and no safety features like wheelchair tie downs. Carefree drivers used ordinary vans and cars. Tipton recalls instructing a passenger who was sitting in his wheelchair in the back of the van to "hang onto the seat in front of him so he wouldn't tip over". She also recalls that the guys in the group fixed the old vehicles to keep them going and sometimes even replaced motors out on the street as they didn't have a garage to work in.

When BC Transit first got involved Carefree was using vehicles donated by service clubs and companies like the Variety Club, Kinsmen’s Club, Lions Club and PG Pulp Mill.  BC Transit Vans and mini-buses came later and were loaded with safety features.   Miraculously all those years that Carefree operated strictly from determination and good will there was never an accident or injury. The majority of the current Carefree staff will become part of the PG Transit staff team bringing with them the caring and dedication that they have for their work so service to customers will remain the same.

Written by Lilla Tipton