Tour bus owner wants to offer fleet to help with COVID testing.
BARRIE -- Angie Ricci has a big idea she hopes could help in the fight against COVID-19.
Ricci is the owner of Angel Tours and Entertainment Inc. Since the pandemic, her fleet of 25 motor coach buses has been sitting idle with nowhere to go.
The buses usually do a run to Casino Rama, but with the casino closed, business came to a stop. The owner is now offering her fleet to help get more people tested more often, and she's already reached out to the local health unit.
"Buses could be a great tool to use as mobile testing stations, she says, "not only here in Ontario, but across Canada."
Ricci says she can remove any of the 55 seats on her buses, so modifying would be easy. They can also add more plastic protection and even put up shelving. The units already have air conditioning and a bathroom, with lots of storage down below.
She also points to the value of having a testing clinic on the road.
"There's going to be rural places that are going to need to do testing that don't have office facilities," says Ricci. ""Who is going to service that? A bus can get in there and do that."
Ricci says she is still waiting to see how the next wave of testing is carried out and if she can help out in any way. She plans to contact the province on Monday.
"The bigger priority here is not getting people just back on my buses," she says, "but how do we get the economy rolling again so we can help everybody."