View on April 12 of the Trail main bus exchange on Cedar Avenue. Sheri Regnier photo

Some movement towards improving Trail bus exchange

Public transit is a regional service; the city wrote to the RDKB in November 2016

For a few years the wheels were spinning, not going anywhere.

That all changed this week after East End regional directors (EESC) addressed Trail’s request for suitable bus shelters downtown as well as the possibility of re-locating the main exchange.

“We are pleased that the RDKB has responded to the City of Trail letter regarding the bus stop shelters in downtown Trail,” said Mayor Mike Martin, the city’s Regional District Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) director.

“The motion as presented was unanimously adopted,” he continued. “And as a result, the RDKB (EESC) will be coordinating a discussion between the partners – BC Transit, Trail Transit and City of Trail – on the appropriate type, number and costs associated with establishing improved bus shelters for the current transit exchange.”

The city is seeking an improvement to the downtown transit stops which serve local residents and provide a hub for all riders in the Lower Columbia Region.

Secondly, Martin says the city will engage with the East End committee, BC Transit and Trail Transit to consider longer term options of alternative locations for a downtown exchange.

“With the expectation that any immediate modifications by way of improved bus shelters can be incorporated into future plans,” he explained. “We are anticipating that the immediate outcome from these discussions and follow-up arrangements will be an improvement to the current exchange.”

In November 2016, the RDKB received a letter from the City of Trail expressing concern about the lack of suitable shelter at downtown bus stops, and council was encouraging the regional district to provide improvements.

Trail also asked the East End Services Committee to keep the request in mind during 2017 budget deliberations.

In January 2017, the committee was informed about a Transit Service Review which also identified issues associated with the exchange and it recommended alternate locations, RDKB Chief Administrative Officer Mark Andison explained.

“It was noted during the discussion that staff would prepare a report on the situation around the exchanges and bring it forward in order to engage with the City of Trail in establishing an alternate locations for the exchange,” he stated. “It was determined that if relocation of the exchange is not possible, then the owners of the building where the exchange is located would be approached to clean up that location.”

The August 2016 service review noted the lack of adequate shelter at the downtown Trail exchange, “which plays a pivotal role for the success of the transit system.” The review cited lack of shelter from the elements, limited seating and accessibility, issues with its location and limited wayfinding signage.

The review outlined a two-phased approach that would begin with an immediate investment to address “critical issues” at the existing main exchange, located on the 1400 block of Cedar Avenue.

The report suggested the installation of a new shelter or awning, as well as new benches and signage.

Andison says the cost of a new awning on the privately-owned building (former Liquidation World) located adjacent to the exchange would be approximately $12,000. Because the building is privately-owned, costs would not be eligible for funding by BC Transit.

“BC Transit staff have suggested that instead of replacing the awning, that a traditional bus shelter or shelters be located at the exchange site,” he clarified. “The new shelter would be eligible for BC Transit funding assistance and may possibly be relocated to the new exchange location, after that location has been identified and developed.”

Many of the existing shelters throughout the service area were installed in 2010 through a special UBCM/public transit infrastructure funding that provided 100 per cent funding for transit shelters. The RDKB accessed $193,000 at that time for the installation shelters across the service district.

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