Sharman Thomas

New routes, fares proposed for Nelson busses

Proposed changes to Nelson routes include shortening the Rosemont and Uphill circuits and having the Fairview route go only in one direction

Nelson residents had their first peek what the new regional integrated transit system could look like.

A series of West Kootenay Transit open houses asked the public for feedback on the proposed route changes and fare structure.

“I think we’ve made a huge amount of progress in integrating the system and making it way more user friendly,” said Donna Macdonald, a city councillor and Nelson’s representative on the West Kootenay Transit Committee.

“Hopefully we’ll see a lot more people riding the bus and finding it a great service that’s a lot easier and less expensive than the cost of driving your car and having to pay for parking.”

Proposed changes to the Nelson routes include shortening the Rosemont and Uphill circuits and having the Fairview route run only in one direction, removing the confusion of alternating reverse routes that required riders to board the bus across the street from regular stops.

“We’ve streamlined the system based on rider counts and public input,” explained Jody Koehle, Nelson’s acting transit superintendent. “The idea is to provide better service to the areas where people ride the bus the most, and make the routes faster and more efficient.”

Public feedback at the open houses was mostly positive. People used red sticky dots to indicate how they feel about the plan, and most placed their dot in the space to show support for the proposal or to support most of the proposal with minor changes.

The most common request for change in the Nelson area was to have a bus running down Perrier Road, where there’s been several new developments in recent years.

“We’ll be taking all feedback into account and see if we find a way to address the concerns,” explained Koehle.

The biggest change under the integrated system will be the new zones and improved inter-city connections.

“We’ve improved connections at Playmor Junction, so it will be much easier to get from Nelson to Trail,” said Sharman Thomas, Transit supervisor Trail and Castlegar.

Two new early morning runs between Nelson and Castlegar are included on the proposed schedule, allowing riders to leave Nelson at around 6 a.m., 7 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. to get to work or appointments in neighbouring cities (the current schedule only has a 6:45 a.m. departure). Each of those morning runs have a connecting bus meeting it as Selkirk College for riders continuing on to Trail.

“The new system will have one standard look and feel — all the busses will look the same and transit operators will be wearing the same uniforms — so you can go between cities without feeling like you’re in a whole different system,” said Thomas.

The proposed new passenger fares are $2 for one zone (a 25 cent increase from the current rate) and $3.50 for all zones. The fare boundaries between Nelson and six mile point, and has been removed.

The new zone structure breaks the area into three broad zones. Nelson would fall into is called “Kootenay Zone” and includes all routes between Balfour and Playmor Junction. The “Slocan Zone” runs from Slocan City to the junction. And the “Columbia Zone” covers route south of the junction that go to Caslegar, Trail, Rossland and Fruitvale.

For full details on the proposed changes and to provide your feedback online, see bctransit.com/transitfuture and click “West Kootenay” in the current projects table on the right side of the screen.

The new schedules and fare structures will come into effect next April.

Just Posted

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmore Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Touchstones releases 2019 exhibition schedule

The museum has seven exhibits set for the year

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read