In May of 2016, Kimberley City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding to expand the Kimberley to Cranbrook transit service.
While the current BC Transit service between the two communities was begun as a service to get people to medical appointments in Cranbrook, it has been used for much more, including commuting to work. The new plan will expand the service to five trips per day, five days a week, including morning and afternoon commuter runs.
Public engagement on the proposed new service began this week. There is an online survey to provide input at bctransit.com/kimberley/survey. People can also get a paper copy of the survey at the City of Kimberley office.
“Creating a dedicated, twice-daily route from Kimberley to Cranbrook is something we have heard many requests for,” said Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick. “I am excited about this possibility, and look forward to reviewing the results of the upcoming survey.”
“Providing opportunities for public input allows us to better assess demand for expanded transit service between Kimberley and Cranbrook,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer. “The results of the engagement process will allow us to connect people and communities more effectively and efficiently.”
Total ridership of all Kimberley transit services continues to grow, increasing in 2016 by 12% over 2015 and 17% over 2014. Average monthly ridership in 2016 was 1,484 passengers.
The net cost to the City for the expanded service would be $17,000 for a full year of service with additional funds coming from the province. The Province of BC is providing $12.7 million in funding for transit expansion initiatives across the province over the next three years, including this proposed expansion in Kimberley.
If all proceeds as planned, the new, expanded transit service would begin in September of this year.