Transit route change drives concern
Jennifer Wimperis boards the city bus three to five times a week. She relies on it to get to town.
In fact, half the reason she bought her Kalview Drive home was because there was a bus stop nearby.
Therefore she was disheartened to discover, following a recent month-long vacation, that part of the No. 6 route she has been faithfully riding for more than 10 years has been cut.
While BC Transit recently celebrated a fresh start in Vernon with a new exchange and expanded hours, it also stripped a section of the route beyond Okanagan College – around Lakeview and Fitzmaurice Road.
“When I first came to Coldstream the bus came once an hour...now there’s no bus,” said Wimperis of the No. 6.
The approximately three-minute loop removed from the No. 6 was due to low ridership.
“The removal of this component of the route is estimated to save approximately $13,200 per annum,” according to the Vernon Regional Transit Review.
Wimperis admits that sometimes she was the only one on the bus during that loop, but she never imagined it would be cancelled.
Now, she has to walk a mile to the college in order to catch the bus.
She is hoping Coldstream can help her get BC Transit on board with an on-call system for the abandoned loop.
But it doesn’t look very promising.
“Route No. 6 has been on the radar as a cost concern for a number of years,” said Trevor Seibel, Coldstream’s director of financial administration.
“This is the first formal complaint we’ve received on the change to this route.”
While the situation is unfortunate, Coun. Peter McClean says it all comes down to dollars and sense.
“To have it servicing one or two people potentially during the week, it’s too expensive for the municipality.”