BC Transit admits it is hard to project future transit ridership in a pandemic, but it outlined its local improvement priorities at a Nelson meeting in March. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

BC Transit admits it is hard to project future transit ridership in a pandemic, but it outlined its local improvement priorities at a Nelson meeting in March. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Transit: Nelson-Salmo bus, more runs to Castlegar in the works

BC Transit presented expansion plans to Nelson council

BC Transit plans to add two new round trips on its Route 99 between Nelson and Castlegar as soon as the system returns to 2019 volumes, according to a BC Transit representative.

Before the pandemic, the buses on that route were already overcrowded, Adriana McMullen told Nelson council at its March 23 meeting.

“Post-COVID, there will be fresh problems on that bus,” she said, “because we may have more people who are less comfortable in crush-load situations.”

McMullen said improving overcrowding on the Nelson-Castlegar route is the top priority for BC Transit in the Nelson area in the immediate future.

Other fixes planned for the next two to three years include:

• Introducing three round trips per day between Nelson and Salmo to coincide with high school hours and office hours.

• Extending the 4:04 p.m. North Shore bus to continue to Balfour and meet the demand of ferry passengers, rather than ending the trip at Six Mile.

• Adding buses to Route 2 Fairview. “In morning peak times (sometimes) there are 60 rides per hour,” said McMullen. “This is higher than we see in some routes in the Victoria system and this is cause for concern.”

• Developing a custom handyDART system for Nelson. McMullen said the current system is “cobbled together with opportunity trips that come down from (handyDART systems in) Nakusp and Kaslo.”

HandyDART is a door-to-door shared transit service for people with disabilities that prevent them from using fixed-route transit.

In the longer term (three-to-five years) BC Transit hopes to combine the Nelson-Castlegar and the Trail-Castlegar runs into a single route, making it unnecessary for Trail-Nelson passengers to transfer in Castlegar.

On the infrastructure side, BC Transit and the City of Nelson plan to begin construction of its new downtown transit hub on the 300 block of Victoria Street this year.

BC Transit is a provincial Crown corporation that co-ordinates the delivery of transit in B.C., collaborating with municipal governments and splitting the costs approximately 50-50 with them. (BC Transit covers two-thirds of handyDART services.)

All of the transit changes listed above will be part of a larger future service plan to be presented to West Kootenay municipalities, and adopted by them, this year.

McMullen said the plan has been informed by a number of stakeholder workshops, open houses and campus events held in the West Kootenay over the past year.

Related:

Nelson’s transit hub will move to 300 block Victoria

Missing the bus: Transit planners trying to fix overcrowding

Missing the bus: Frustrations rise over crowded West Kootenay transit

Nelson set to decide design for Victoria Street transit hub



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read