After an extensive study of transit usage in Kimberley, BC Transit has decided to grant Kimberley another 1100 hours per year in transit service.
BC Transit personnel spoke to the City of Kimberley, Interior Health Authority staff, and community groups like Summit Community Servcies, the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and the College of the Rockies, as well as Kimberley Community Transportation, which manages the service.
Data was collected form a resident survey in the summer of 2012, Kimberley Transportation ride booking records and monthly ridership counts.
“The conclusion is that we will get an additional 1100 hours,” said Mayor Ron McRae. “We will see an additional level of service to Cranbrook in particular and BC Transit will maintain existing service as well.. The City has budgeted for an increase as we expected that would be the recommendation.”
The additional 1100 hour service outlined in the report offers more weekday commuter service to Cranbrook. The option would provide an early morning and early evening trip to Cranbrook, Monday through Friday. This would provide an alternative means of transportation to those employed or attending school in Cranbrook and reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the highway between the two cities. The City and Kimberley Transit Services will work out the exact schedule and details of the new service.
“It is a very good report, very comprehensive” McRae said. “The service to Cranbrook will continue to be a combination of the Interior Health service and BC Transit service.”
The new service will add an additional operating cost of $64,000 of which BC Transit will pay $40,000 and the City $12,000. There will also be a projected $12,000 increase in revenues.
McRae says that a regular commuter service between Kimberley and Cranbrook has been tried before.
“The report did look at a commuter service but research showed there is a high degree of risk with that. It is more meaningful to look at incremental increases.”
Kimberley Transit offers door to door, dial a ride service within Kimberley and Marysville with two 20-passenger minibuses. Passengers are required to call the dispatch office 24 hours in advance to book a ride. The service operates between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The vehicles are lift equipped and some school district funding is provided to transport special-needs students to and from school.
The Health Connections Service, funding by the Interior Health Authority operates three round trips per day, two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
BC Transit also allows its vehicles to be used for the ski shuttle service.