New BC Transit buses are rolling into Trail this week.
But mums-the-word on details until the official reveal today when BC Transit and local leaders will gather at the Trail Market on the Esplanade to celebrate the arrival of new transit vehicles.
Jonathon Dyck, BC Transit communications manager, encourages the community to check out the event, which begins at 11 a.m.
He said information will be released about why and how the buses are going to work very well in Trail.
The topic of public transit and its escalating costs frequently crops up during local council meetings.
Often it’s the size of buses that is the centre of discussion, because on any given day, many of the buses appear to be sparsely occupied.
Local transit stakeholders have long pushed for BC Transit to provide smaller buses in the region – though at this point, there is no information on what new buses will service Trail and Greater Area.
Earlier this year, Coun. Sandy Santori questioned Mayor Mike Martin about the increased transit costs to East End participants, and he asked if the committee was revisiting savings potential with smaller buses.
“I fully support the bus service,” Santori said at the time. “But nine out of 10 buses are running at less than 10 per cent capacity, time and time again. We have to start asking ourselves that question.”
Martin replied the committee has stated concerns with increasing transit costs, and continues to advocate for smaller transit vehicles.
“The arguments we get back are related to service and parts … for the fleet and associated activities with existing buses,” he said. “But you are absolutely right, it makes no sense to be running these large buses with very low usage.”
In January, BC Transit stated that 104 new buses would be added to its provincial fleet.
Following that news release, the Trail Times contacted BC Transit to inquire if any new buses, possibly smaller buses, were destined for the West Kootenay.
Until today, that question will remain unanswered.
However, in the previous interview, Dyck did say the placement of buses would be finalized closer to their date of delivery.
“We place orders for buses knowing there are parts of our fleet that need replacing … we do not finalize the plans for placement of the buses until they are closer to delivery as the plans could change,” he responded
“Factors include other system realignments which could change the need for the bus in one community and require it to be placed in another.”
Last fall, Martin revealed upcoming cuts to local transit, including the discontinuation of Route 47 to Tadanac and certain runs on Route 44 to Sunningdale.