The 300 block Victoria Street will be the site of Nelson’s new transit exchange, to be moved and expanded from the current location at Ward and Baker. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson’s transit hub will move to 300 block Victoria

Space needs to expand with anticipated service increase, says BC Transit

The transit exchange at Ward and Baker will be moved to Victoria Street between Kootenay Street and Stanley Street sometime in the next few years.

That’s the block with the library on the south side and Kutenai Place, the pink government building, on the north side.

James Wadsworth of BC Transit discussed this idea with Nelson council at its June 22 meeting.

He said BC Transit has developed preliminary designs for two configurations: one with buses on only one side of the Victoria Street block while retaining parking on the other, and another with buses on both sides.

When BC Transit planners come up with a recommendation they will bring this to city council in late summer or early fall.

Wadsworth said the basic components of an effective transit exchange are seating, cover, route information, lighting, and bike parking, and he said the current hub at Ward and Baker will be too small for the expanded transit expected over the next few years.

BC Transit is a provincial crown corporation that partners with municipalities across the province to provide planning and funding for bus services.

The costs of transit services are normally split 50-50 between the province and municipalities, but in this case BC Transit would apply for an infrastructure grant that would only ask 20 per cent of the local government, with the rest being split between the federal and provincial governments.

Wadsworth also said BC Transit is working on electrifying its fleets over time, and Nelson has indicated it would like to be an early adopter.

Wadsworth said the plan over 10 years is to replace 1,200 buses and expand the province’s fleets by 350 buses using new and emerging technologies.

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