Say so long to bus transfers in Kamloops - InfoNews

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Say so long to bus transfers in Kamloops

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May 19, 2019 - 1:00 PM

KAMLOOPS — Kamloops city councillors voted earlier this week to get rid of bus transfers and reduce the cost of daily and monthly rider passes.

The vote was made at the committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, May 15, following the city's engineering manager Deven Matkowski's report on a series of sweeping changes aimed at improving transit service and better align with B.C. Transit recommendations. The issues of getting rid of transfers was the most controversial.

Eliminating transfers makes way for senior and student discounts for daily passes in favour of reduced-rate monthly passes, Matkowski explained. Instead of a transfer, those without monthly passes would purchase a day pass. 

The report also said only five per cent of riders actually use bus transfers.

Coun. Dale Bass and Coun. Kathy Sinclair opposed the recommendation.

"Encouraging people to get a monthly pass makes a lot of sense and makes a lot of sense for people who are commuting every day," Sinclair said at the meeting, "But there is a group of casual users."

She listed tourists, families of four, and casual riders who may be a part of that five per cent. She also cited a stat in the Transportation Master Plan where a survey suggested 49 per cent of participants would take transit if it were more flexible and convenient.

"Keeping the transfer system the way it is now would be a part of that flexibility," she said.

Mayor Ken Christian said the report's projected 11 per cent increase in ridership stood out to him. 

"We want to make sure we are on the leading edge of B.C. Transit," Mayor Christian said.

Coun. Arjun Singh moved the recommendation forward, and Coun. Sadie Hunter seconded the motion.

The recommendation is now going forward.

What are your thoughts? Will you miss the bus transfers?

A screenshot of Deven Matkowski's presentation to council on May 14, 2019. The table details the new fare structure that staff were approved to implement at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
A screenshot of Deven Matkowski's presentation to council on May 14, 2019. The table details the new fare structure that staff were approved to implement at the Committee of the Whole meeting.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kamloops

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