How the City of Kamloops may improve transit | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How the City of Kamloops may improve transit

Lorraine Lim, a Thompson Rivers University student, rides the bus on Feb. 4, 2019. She uses city transit anywhere from three to four times per day to get to school and for recreation.

KAMLOOPS - Lorraine Lim is bundled up taking the bus to the university in unusually cold weather for February in Kamloops.

She takes the bus anywhere from three to four times per day for her school and recreation.

"I feel I can get everywhere I need to go," Lim says. "I just wish there was better service on weekends."

Lim says she often feels that she needs to call it an early night on weekends when the bus service is more limited. 

Expanding weekend and holiday service is one of the items on the City of Kamloops's list of priorities for improving bus service in September 2019, along with maintaining key routes to Thompson Rivers University and rerouting Parkcrest Route No. 2 and Downtown Route No. 6.

"We know that TRU is a major destination," Deven Matkowski the city's engineering manager says. "[Route two] is something we’re talking about, but it's still really preliminary about whether or not the two would continue to come all the way downtown or it would stay in Parkcrest in the North Shore."

A report prepared for council proposes the city approve 3,000 additional hours of service per year, which is expected to cost about $112,253. The city currently operates on about 100 thousand hours of service on a budget just shy of $4.7 million.

"So we're not asking for 50 per cent of our budget or anything," Matkowski says in a phone interview, explaining the context of a $100,000 increase to a multimillion dollar budget.

"There is a direct correlation between hours of service and ridership; all previous service hour additions have resulted in corresponding increases in ridership," Matkowski's report for council says. "The additional 3,000 hours proposed for September 2019 can improve the core transit network, service span, and frequency of service."

Data from previous years show that the 2017/2018 season, when an additional 3,000 hours were approved, showed the biggest overal ridership growth since 2010/2011.

Matkowski says the 3,000 hours of additional service might not be noticeable to certain transit users, but one route might be open an hour later or be able to make more frequent stops.

"We would love if we could have all our routes run ten minutes max," Matkowski says. "[But] it’s awful expensive to have that many buses on the road and be that frequent. They’d be more empty, and then the costs would go up."

The recommendation to council is to approve the additional hours for this year, and then leave it till next year to re-evaluate the need. Council received the information at the Comittee of the Whole meeting this morning. 

"Transit mobility is everything," Matkowski says. "Without a good transit system it really has an impact on everything the community needs.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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