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Nelson council protests loss of transit funding

The 2013 changes to transit in the West Kootenay resulted in a significant increase in ridership, according to B.C. Transit

Nelson council voted on Monday night to write to a number of authorities about the provincial government’s recent freeze on transit funding.

“An enormous amount of work went into re-doing our transit service and this has resulted in increased ridership,” said councillor Valerie Warmington who introduced the motion and who sits on the regional transit committee.

She was referring to the 2013 revamping of regional routes and connections in the West Kootenay, and changes to routes in Nelson.

Council voted to write to Transportation Minister Todd Stone, “urging him to reconsider the decision to freeze operational funding transit and, at minimum, to allocate sufficient funding to maintain existing levels of transit service.”

Council also decided to also write to the Nelson Chamber of Commerce, the West Kootenay Regional Hospital Board, the Interior Health Authority, and MLA Michelle Mungall encouraging them to similarly encourage the minister.

Warmington said there is a risk of current services being lost. As costs increase over time, the transit service may have to cut services just to make ends meet. She said losing one route has a domino effect on other routes and connections.

Warmington pointed out that the cut occurred while the BC government is vocal about its support for transit.

Councillor Janice Morrison said transit is a health issue, especially with the threat of the loss of HandiDART services.

 

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