Lethbridge City Council approves donation of two decommissioned buses for Los Amigos Project

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
February 9, 2019 - 9:00am

LETHBRIDGE - The Los Amigos project in 2019 will deliver a pair of soon-to-be decommissioned Access-A-Ride buses from the City of Lethbridge to communities in Mexico, thanks to a donation from city council.

Council approved the donation at their regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 8, following a presentation from organizers of the project.

Los Amigos is organized by the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Sunrise and has coordinated the donation of decommissioned Canadian vehicles that are now in regular use for medical, emergency, firefighting or transportation in Mexican communities for eight years now.

Project Coordinator Karl Samuels says thanks to a good relationship with the City's Transportation Operations department, they're made aware when vehicles are going to be decommissioned.

"They've got a couple of Access-A-Ride buses that have come up, and we basically came to city council to ask if they would donate the two vehicles to our project for communities in Mexico who will make good use of them."

Since 2011, the project has sent 41 vehicles to communities in Mexico, thanks to donations not just from Lethbridge but other communities as well around Southern Alberta.

Now that Samuels knows what kind of vehicles they'll have for this year's project, he will be communicating that information to his counterpart in Mexico who will then find the communities that can best use them.

A decommissioned fire truck is also being donated to Los Amigos from the Town of Olds, as well as an ambulance coming from Pincher Creek.

In Canada and the United States, we're governed by various rules and regulations, and Samuels explained that the emergency vehicles up here have a certain lifespan because of those.

"After that, they have to be taken out of service because it's too expensive to continually repair them. Once they get down to Mexico, they're given basically a second life. We've been taking vehicles there for the past eight years and they're still in use up to this day. Down there they find ways to fix these vehicles, make the best of them and look after them," Samuels added.

Last year after personally viewing some of these vehicles, Samuels admitted he was surprised by the good shape they were in and still being used.

United Conservative nomination in Lethbridge-East won by Nathan Neudorf

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