More bus runs could be coming to West Kootenay.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay board is recommending to BC Transit the following additions:
• One extra weekday morning run to the Slocan Valley (scheduled to meet the Kootenay Connector to Trail);
• One extra weekday morning to North Shore (scheduled to meet the Kootenay Connector);
• An extra run per weekday to Blewett in the peak afternoon period;
• An extra day of service between Salmo and Nelson with an additional p.m. service for all three days to Salmo;
• An extra day of service between Kaslo and Nelson;
• Service to Perrier Rd. three times per day;
• An extra day of service between Nakusp and Nelson.
The RDCK’s Randy Matheson says those items aren’t listed in order of priority although he points out the first two would make some of the others easier.
“Putting in a new North Shore route brings the cost down for the Kaslo one. Putting in the Slocan Valley reduces costs for Nakusp because that bus can meet it. We would have to put those in first.”
BC Transit recently invited transit improvement recommendations from across the province following its announcement of an extra $12.7 million in provincial government funds for transit in 2017. The agency may not be able to fulfill all requests, and Matheson says we’ll have to wait until August to see whether the RDCK gets all or part of its request.
BC Transit is a provincial crown agency responsible for co-ordinating the delivery of public transportation in BC outside of Vancouver. It operates 83 transit systems across the province and provides about 50 per cent of funding to transit systems, with regional governments providing the other half.
The regional district board, in endorsing these transit options this month, also accepted responsibility for its share of the cost of each. Those net costs (after fare revenues and BC Transit’s half share of the costs are taken into account) would be: Slocan Valley and North Shore combined, $36,632; Blewett, $9,732; Salmo, $16,300; Kaslo, $7,400; Perrier Rd., $8,100; Nakusp, $3,800; required fleet additions, $56,736.
The total of $136,700 will require an overall 19.6 per cent tax increase to the transit portion of RDCK residents’ tax bills.
“That 19 per cent,” says RDCK CAO Stuart Horn, “will vary because it will affect you differently depending on where you live.”