According to an annual report that was recently presented to Kimberley City Council, transit ridership across the City continues to grow.
Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock says that overall ridership continues to increase each year. For the 2018 calendar year, there was a 13.5 per cent increase in ridership compared to the previous year.
“Ridership was up each month compared to all previous years except for July, August and November,” said Pollock. “Overall, it’s a positive trend.”
He adds that the Health Connections ridership increased 16.8 per cent in 2018, while the KC Commuter service ridership increased 1.8 per cent.
“The proposed expansion of both the Health Connections and KC Commuter service, which are still subject to provincial funding approval, should lead to further ridership increases on both routes. If approved, the expansion of both services will begin in September of this year,” explained Pollock.
The winter shuttle service declined 29.5 per cent from last season, but was similar to the levels of the two seasons prior. The schedule was revised for this season to be similar to that utilized in 2016-17, which saw the most ridership ever.
“The main change was to delete the morning routes in favour of increased afternoon and evening routes,” said Pollock. “So far, the schedule change seems to be working as ridership in December and January increased 11.7 per cent over the same period last season.”
Staff is exploring the potential to increase the number of hours available for the shuttle service, says Pollock, which has never changed from a maximum of 440 hours per season.
He says that the City hopes to conduct a ridership survey which will help to determine where changes or additions need to be made if the expansion does in fact get approved.
“There will likely be two trips added to the commuter service, one that will be earlier than what is currently available and one that is later, which will cater to those working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or earlier, or later,” said Pollock.