Big changes coming to Kamloops transit
Public transit, as Kamloops residents know it, is about to change.
The city is looking at a number of changes to transit service over the
next two years, which were given the thumbs up by city council at a
Beginning next January,the Southwest (Sahali-Aberdeen) service will
undertake a significant restructuring and expansion.
The three existing routes will be eliminated and replaced by four new
routes yet to be finalized, and the one-way loops will be replaced by
The restructuring also includes 50 new bus stops for the area.
The total cost of the restructuring is $1.2 million, with the city
covering $300,000 already budgeted.
"We want to improve the service and make it a lot better, so that
people can get to where they want to go easier," said Erin Felker,
transportation planner with the city.
She said the public will get an opportunity to provide feedback on the
changes later this fall.
The city also budgeted for changes to Route 13 (Yellowhead), adding
three trips per day at a cost of $19,500, starting in Sept. 2008.
Route 10 (North Shore TRU Expres)s will get six additional trips per
day at a cost of $11,000.
Other proposed expansion plans throughout 2009 include:
• one new vehicle for handyDART service ($22,500)
• Running Juniper TRU Express year round ($6,000)
• increased Sunday service on most routes ($50,000)
• North Shore Service review to revise routes to use the new Transit
Exchange and add a bus for Route 3 in Westsyde ($100,000)
• North Shore TRU Express extension ($65,000)
The city also received a boost in funding from the provincial
government as part of a new cost sharing agreement that took effect
The agreement now gives the city an extra $206,250 for 2008 and
$275,000 for 2009.
City staff have also recommended this year's surplus go toward a
number of items, including:
• Juniper TRU Express service continuing through the summer ($6,000)
• conducting a bus inventory ($10,000)
• installation of new bus zones required for the Aberdeen-Sahali
service restructuring ($50,000)
• purchasing current bus-zone amenities ($75,000)
• other bus zone upgrades ($62,250)
Other service improvements include transit service to the Kamloops
Indian Band and Sun Rivers development.
Mayor Terry Lake said he supports all the expansion ideas brought forward.
He's especially supportive of the KIB partnership, and believes it
will be a big benefit to the people living at Sun Rivers.
And, Lake pointed out, the cost-sharing agreement with the province
gives the city some financial breathing room to address the issues of
comfort and safety for transit users.
Along with transit expansion, the city and BC Transit have also
outlined a comprehensive marketing plan.
BC Transit is proposing a fee increase for its U-Pass, from $40 a
semester to $50.
Students will get an opportunity to vote on the increase in a referendum.
The plan also includes unveiling a new ProPASS program, where
employers can have the cost of an annual transit pass deducted from
their employees' payroll.
The current adult one-month pass is $48, and the city estimates the
ProPass will be $40 a month.
Users of the program must make a one-year commitment to use the pass.
Two-way timed transfers will also be offered ,which will allow transit
users to ride the bus for 90 minutes in any direction.
BC Transit, which is revamping its website in 2009 to offer improved
trip planners and schedule listings, hopes the change will encourage
people to use transit for appointments or shopping.