Pushing for better bus service

As far as Coun. Debbie Cannon is concerned, city residents are still not being optimally served by public transit.

Last week Cannon and council had an opportunity to review the 2013/14 annual performance summary submitted by BC Transit. The report notes overall ridership decreased by .5 per cent. This was after a “minor service expansion” came into effect in Dec. 2013 that included the introduction of a “shopper’s shuttle” to serve the SmartCentres development and other sites, funded primarily through the re-allocation of hours and the elimination of the Foothill Loop.

Regarding customer satisfaction, the changes received both positive and negative feedback. Additionally, requests were made for further service expansion to include evenings and additional stops, including stops in the industrial park. Cannon advocated for these points at a May council meeting with a failed motion to have staff look into transit service expansion. She stressed their importance again at last Monday’s council meeting.

“Transit comes at a cost but, in my mind, the transit that we offer in Salmon Arm doesn’t do what we need it to do for our citizens,” said Cannon. “We need to have the offering for people to get to and from work in our industrial park, and we also need our transit to go later than 6 p.m. so that people can use it to get to and from appointments.

“I’ve stressed before that our schools have moved from the downtown to up the hill, so we have people that live in the downtown that don’t have vehicles that need to get to their kids’ parent teacher interviews and different activities at the schools, and they don’t have the ability to use transit in our community. So for me, I still think we have a need to fix this transit so it accommodates more people in our community.”

No motion was introduced, but Coun. Marg Kentel agreed the city could always do better and suggested the matter could come back at budget time.


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