The City of Kamloops and Tk’emlups te Secwépemc (TTS) are eager to work toward altering the bus route between the reserve and the municipality.
Transit was among the topics of conversation discussed by the municipality and the First Nation at a council to council meeting on Tuesday in Sandman Centre.
The two governments are in the second of a five-year transit service agreement and the band has identified stops that are under-utilized and could be better situated.
The Silver Sage and G&M trailer parks are two areas of proposed expansion Tk’emlups wants for the Mount Paul transit route, given the number of residents who live there.
The problem, however, said Tk’emlups Coun. Justin Gottfriedson, is that BC Transit has been reluctant to make changes ahead of the contract’s expiration.
“So, TTS is really looking for some support from the city on adjusting that route to be better utilized and more efficient,” Gottfriedson said.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said he is supportive of making changes, opining there is no reason they should be locked into a five-year commitment before improving the route.
Gottfriedson proposed the two governments lobby the province for the change, while also calling for upgrading the intersection at Mount Paul Way and Highway 5.
Tk’emlups manager of planning and engineering John ter Borg said he doesn’t think it will take the full five years for BC Transit to allow an adjustment, but added that each time he has raised the issue with the Crown corporation, any possible change has been met with delays.
“Over the last year-and-a-half, they’ve said if not now, next year, and we don’t want to miss that opportunity to make the route as efficient and equitable as it can be,” ter Borg said.
Expanding transit service is something municipal staff is eager to do.
Marvin Kwiatkowski, the city’s director of development, said there are government funding opportunities coming in the near future for enhancing transit hours and infrastructure, confirming the city wants to continue expanding the service.
“We are in full support if TTS is looking for expansion,” Kwiatkowski said.
The band has also identified potential bike and pedestrian path projects, and requested a letter of support from the city as grant funds seem to have been awarded to applications involving linkages between communities.
Christian said he felt the city needs to take its cue from the public when working together on commuter and recreational paths, noting Rayleigh residents have asked for connectivity and routes along three Kamloops bridges need safety improvements.