June 24, 2014 - 2:28 PM
PENTICTON - Councillors discussed the need for more public transit options at last night’s city council meeting, including increased evening hours and shorter wait times.
Staff presented options for the new three-year contract with B.C. Transit that will run from 2015 to 2018. Options including extending certain routes, all night services and Sunday services. The operating costs ranged from $2,000 to $147,000.
Coun. Helena Konanz asked if it was possible to expand the small bus service. She said people are always complaining they are tired of seeing the big buses riding around town empty.
The city is currently renting the small buses from B.C. Transit as a trial run, said Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations. The small buses can be returned or renewed depending on whether they are working for the city or not, he said. A complete report on this will be completed in October.
Coun. John Vassilaki said he wants to see more evening and night hours because elders, who make up a large portion of the city’s population and bus ridership, are afraid to go out after dusk.
“It would be better for the community rather than have a 20 minute run up and down Main Street, even though I was a big supporter of that,” he said.
Citizen Bridget Kemp said she’s started hosting monthly meetings for seniors on how to use the transit systems by taking groups on rides around the city. She said one of the biggest problems with transit in the city is that seniors don’t know how to use the system and navigate their way around the city via bus.
Mayor Garry Litke said he liked the idea of a hands-on education program for seniors and applauded Kemp’s initiative. He asked for details of the next meetings so he could be a part of it.
Council decided to send their suggestions and questions back to the transportation committee for review before making any decisions.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014