Vernon evening transit approved

A green light has been given to night bus service in Vernon.

A green light has been given to night bus service in Vernon.

Council voted Monday to spend $80,000 from April to December to have most bus routes running evenings from Monday to Saturday.

“I think it will get used a lot,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

The goal is to provide transportation options to individuals going shopping or out to a movie or restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s expected weekday service will be used by shift workers, including those at the hospital.

From Monday to Thursday starting in April, the last bus run will begin at 7:30 p.m. while the last run will start at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The $80,000 also includes transit runs on Canada Day and Remembrance Day.

While he supported extending the service for the rest of 2012, Coun. Bob Spiers insists there is no guarantee the new schedule will continue next year.

“To me this is a trial run,” he said of council’s decision Monday and the need to look at long-term financial implications and whether ridership is steady.

“We have to determine if it’s beneficial to keep it going.”

For a full year, the city’s share of the total $213,777 service cost would be $90,832.

The remainder would be covered by ridership fees and B.C. Transit.