The Regional District of Central Kootenay's boar

Transit merger in the works

The two local regional districts are moving toward an amalgamated transit system by April 2013.

The two local regional districts are moving toward an amalgamated transit system by April 2013 that could see one fleet, one fare schedule, and one staff pool.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s bus system is a $3 million per year service that requires modifications to remain viable, administrator Jim Gustafson wrote in a memo to the board.

“The current service arrangement has worked well for many years and public transit is available on a limited basis throughout much of the West Kootenay,” he said. “Staff is suggesting we need to push the service towards greater sustainability.”

He says they should look at a new governing and operating model, as well as a 10-year fleet replacement program.

“Arguably, together local government is operating a bus company as much as a transit system,” Gustafson wrote. “Transit links between Balfour and Trail are extensive and cover a 100 km span.”

However, a “more effective organization” that uses a single bus fleet and rate card, and possibly one taxation source “may prove the difference between a struggling service and a new sustainable service for the future.”

Local governments across the RDCK and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

need to work together and with BC Transit on the new model, he said.

Regionalized transit was tentatively endorsed about a year and a half ago, and the RDCK board gave its blessing last week to further exploring the concept.

This story will appear in the West Kootenay Advertiser of January 26.

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