A new pilot project for Fruitvale and the Beaver Valley could help youth keep their social lives intact — and it doesn’t involve Facebook.
Transit hours will be expanded for Friday night service to the Beaver Valley beginning in March, allowing those young people living in the Greater Trail area to partake in social and sporting events that are part and parcel of growing up, said Fruitvale councillor Larry Gray.
The move addresses a long harboured concern of youth and parents in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, said Gray, as the lack of late transit was proving to be a huge impediment for them.
If rides were not available for the teens from the high school in Trail or from the movie theatre, he said, young people often weren’t able to attend the functions.
“The important thing we heard was that youth often can’t stay after school for a basketball game or something like that,” he said. “That was a huge loss. This way, every day of the week there will be a later bus, and on Friday they can stay a little later.”
Late last year an additional 2,400 hours were added to the local transit system to create later transit runs, leaving downtown Trail after 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The number one goal was to get cars off the road for those people who commute to work in Trail, said
Gray, but it was also to help students who were going to school outside of the Beaver Valley.
The bus hours are still considered temporary, said Gray, who also sits as the chair of the regional district board of directors.
The extended hours were made possible because BC Transit pays 42 per cent of the cost associated with the increase.
The local transit system will cover the approximate $135,000 remaining to afford the schedule changes. However, it is expected revenue generated from fares with increased usage could cut down that cost to taxpayers.