Those commuting by bus to and from Cranbrook will have more options starting in September after an expansion to service hours was approved by Council on Monday evening.
The City has been working on the expansion for almost two years now, and after provincial funding was recently confirmed, both the KC Commuter Service and Monday daytime service to Cranbrook will be extended.
Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock says that the Monday daytime service will include three additional trips to match the current Tuesday to Friday daytime service.
He adds that the Monday expansion will not require extra vehicles and will cost the city approximately $7,383 annually.
The expansion of the KC Commuter service to Cranbrook will see an additional morning and evening trip to and from Cranbrook Monday to Friday.
BC Transit recently conducted a survey of the KC Commuter service and Pollock says they are happy with the results and are currently considering the 200 responses. The additional times have yet to be determined.
“The commuter service will require an extra vehicle so the initial estimated cost to the City is approximately $34,084 annually,” explained Pollock in a report to Council. He adds that this cost is already allocated into 2019’s budget.
Mayor Don McCormick says that one of the current issues with the commuter service is that the last bus leaves too early, making it difficult for those who end work at 5 p.m. or later.
Councillor Kent Goodwin proposed the idea of looking into electric buses in the near future, while Councillor Kyle Dalum agreed, saying it’s Council’s responsibility to approve the expansion and perhaps look into a trial of the electric buses.
CAO Scott Sommerville says that the City can request a trial, however he says BC Transit is more likely to roll it out in an area that has a higher population density.
Councillor Darryl Oakley says that the expansion and service is a “hugely successful” initiative, adding that the bus goes through a major wildlife corridor and the fewer cars on the road the better.
An expansion to the winter shuttle service is also proposed, and if approved in future provincial and Council budget decisions, will see a 50 per cent increase to the shuttle service hours beginning in December 2020 at a cost of $3,827 annually.