There has been a bus running between Kimberley and Cranbrook three days a week for several years now, but there has been a real shift in usage. Such a shift in fact, that the City of Kimberley will be applying for an expansion in transit services to five days a week instead of three, and a couple of additional trips, early and late in the day.
Stats show that while the service began with 80 per cent of usage for medical appointments, it has now shifted to 80 per cent commuters for work or shopping.
“This service was set up for medical appointments,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “But now only 15 per cent of riders are going for medical reasons. There are a lot of commuters.”
The expansion would add approximately 1,010 service hours and the initial estimated cost increase to the City is $13,952 per year (actual cost to be determined, estimated range is $12,000 – $15,000).
A staff report to Council noted the annual cost increase would represent an estimated 0.15 per cent tax increase in future operating budget. Instead of funding the cost by tax increase, Council may choose to fund the annual additional cost from the “Climate Action” reserve funds which are intended to support initiatives and projects that help to reduce overall corporate and/or community greenhouse gas emissions.
If approved, the additional trips will begin in September of 2017.