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More Nelson transit changes on the way as regional amalgamation now on table

A few days after several Nelsonites protested at City Hall over transit cuts, BC Transit has made it known there could be further changes to the local schedules as they undertake a region-wide review of the service.

At last week’s Regional District of Central Kootenay meeting of the board of directors, it was revealed there was a plan in place for the five transit services in the regional district — including Nelson — to be rolled into one.

The board elected to move ahead with amalgamation of Nelson, Slocan Valley, Nakusp, Kaslo and Kootenay West (Nelson-Trail) into one service. However, the merger is a few months away, since a funding scenario has to be finalized with BC Transit and the various operators in the region.

Currently there are five separate agreements for transit service in the RDCK, with five separate fare zones. All five systems had been established to customize service in their respective regions, with regional travel to Nelson, but their differences have made it hard to coordinate and grow the system, a BC Transit letter to the board pointed out.

However, amalgamation would improve the systems’ cost efficiencies, the BC Transit letter to the board stated, and reduce administration, simplifying fares and ridership zones.

The move would also allow the five services to share vehicles, to improve maintenance and reduce costs.

Last week a delegation of Rosemont residents led by Karen Rymal appeared at a City council meeting to ask them to consider rejecting a proposal to cut bus service on West Richards Street.!/TheNelsonDaily