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Council elects to reduce transit service during supper hour rush

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
September 25th, 2011

It will be summer all year round in Nelson, according to City council.

Last week council approved adoption of the historical summer service schedule year round, which results in slightly less route frequency between 3 pm and 6 pm.

These service changes are in addition to the discontinuation of Sunday service, which took place Aug.1. BC Transit had identified that Nelson was the only community in the region offering Sunday service.

In its discussions with BC Transit, council asked about the option of reducing the overall fleet, since the new Nova buses cost $650,000 each.

“This was an alternative solution that we found,” said Mayor John Dooley. “We were able to let go of one bus in the peak afternoon time. This will result in a large financial savings with only a small impact on routes and the overall schedule.”

These changes to the Nelson system come after council asked BC Transit to identify potential efficiencies at the local level that could be implemented in the short term.

The cost of providing transit is significant, with taxpayers funding over $1 million of the costs, and fares covering the remaining $300,000.

During the 2011 budget discussions, it was identified that the City’s contribution to Nelson transit would have to be increased by $128,000 from 2010 in order to fund the higher costs of operating the transit system in the City.

“The next step will be to work with our regional partners and look at how transit is being delivered throughout the region,” said Mayor Dooley. “We have to be part of a broader, regional solution, to make this work in the long term.

BC Transit is in the process of working with the City of Nelson, Regional District of Central Kootenay and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary on a regional transit strategy, which will be presented to the partners later this fall.

It is expected this larger strategy will be brought out to the public early next year for comment. One of the key goals is to identify opportunities to better integrate the Nelson system within the regional system.

Other approved changes, effective Nov. 13, are as follows:

Discontinue Perrier Road service.

Discontinue Radio Avenue service.

Discontinue Waldorf school run.

Council decided not to make changes to the Rosemont service and kept the school overload run (LVR Express).

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