High cost anticipated with transit expansion

Demands are growing to expand transit in Vernon, but the price tag appears daunting.

City council will discuss potential expansion of the system after receiving a service review report from B.C. Transit Monday.

“It has to boil down to dollars and cents. We can’t do it all,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

The ability for taxpayers’ to absorb any increased spending is also a concern for Coun. Patrick Nicol.

“We may have to do them over a number of years,” said Nicol of proposed upgrades.

The service review process started in June and it included consultation with the public.

“People want more service,” said Steve Harvard, B.C. Transit senior manager.

“Statutory holiday service is large on the list as is expansion of Sunday service.”

But providing bus routes on statutory holidays would cost $2,300 a day, while the city would need $73,000 a year to bring Sunday service up to the same service as the rest of the week.

Running buses until 9 p.m. Monday to Friday would cost $141,000.

There has been significant demand from residents of the Foothills subdivision for transit, but that would cost $170,000 a year for an hourly service.

There has also been calls to expand transit between Vernon and the University of B.C. in Kelowna.

To fill in afternoon gaps in the service would cost $57,000 while it would be $23,000 for Saturday service every two hours and $19,000 for a bus leaving Vernon at 8 a.m. and $19,000 for a bus leaving UBC at 9:15 p.m.

Nicol believes the city must consider ways of expanding transit.

“More people want to get around in different ways,” he said.


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