Big bucks for Vernon transit

Council has approved a transit expansion plan for 2018, which includes 7,000 extra service hours a year and changes to most routes

There will be more opportunities to climb aboard the bus in Vernon.

Council has approved a transit expansion plan for 2018, which includes 7,000 extra service hours a year and changes to most routes.

“If you use transit, you will notice it,” said Mayor Akbal Mund.

However, the initiative doesn’t come cheap at an extra $419,036 per year.

“It’s a tough one but you have to have transit,” said Mund when asked about the expense.

While staff didn’t recommend any changes to the Bella Vista route, council agreed to do so Monday after a request from resident Jim Kanester.

Kanester wanted 35-minute service restored to the Allenby Way area. The current service is one hour and 10 minutes.

“Make this route a priority. There are almost 400 people on this route,” he said, adding that the existing service negatively impacts people trying to get to work or out to shop or see the doctor.

As a result of Kanester’s lobbying, the route will veer off Bella Vista Road and go down Heritage, Lardeau and Allenby before returning to Bella Vista.

However, it’s still not known if using existing resources will still allow 35-minute service to return to the area.

On another front, council has instructed city staff and B.C. Transit to speak to the Village Green Centre about having a bus stop there.

“This has been an ongoing and ridiculous situation,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

There hasn’t been a bus stop on the mall property for a couple of years and the closest is now on 48th Avenue.

“I saw a woman last year almost get run over because she fell over on her chair on 48th Avenue,” said Cunningham of high traffic volume.

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