Riding the bus into the future
Two decades ago, it would have been considered the future of transit.
Today, a retired bus is getting a new life by being the focal point of the process in developing the city’s 25-year future transit plan.
Dubbed the “open house on wheels”, BC Transit’s Transit Future bus is making a stop in Kamloops until March 15.
During its five-day stay, the bus, which was one of the first low-floor vehicles of its kind in North America, will be at all the major malls in town and will stop in at a Kamloops Blazers’ game, to gather feedback from the community on the transit system.
But, this is no ordinary ride.
The bus has been transformed to include several informational work stations, IPads to facilitate surveys and a play area for kids.
Brian Anderson, vice-president of business development for BC Transit, said the bus is the starting process for developing a long-term transit plan for the Kamloops area.
“Take the bus to the people as opposed to having the people come to us,” he said, noting when BC Transit held a similar tour in Victoria, nearly 1,000 people rolled through the bus in the first three hours.
Anderson said the bus draws far more people than a traditional open house.
Though part of the goal of BC Transit is to get people into the bus, the other aim is to get information from the community for the 25-year plan.
Anderson said the Crown corporation wants to know what’s working well, what can be improved and what can be tweaked.
“That’s the type of information that’s essential in order to build the right plan to effectively grow transit,” he said.
Though the 25-year transit plan is intended increase ridership, Anderson noted Kamloops already has one of the highest rides per capita ratio in the province, behind Whistler and Victoria.
The bus is just the first round of consultation for the plan — a second will take place in the fall with transit sharing the results with the community.
The final plan is expected to be completed by the end of this year.