Lack of amenities, inadequate signage and scanty cover are fuelling conversation about changing location of the main bus exchange in downtown Trail.
The news is welcome for the bus service operator at Trail Transit, granted talks have just begun and possible relocation is somewhere down the road.
“It’s very good,” says Sharman Thomas, Trail Transit’s supervisor. “That is our main exchange for people to hop on the bus. We have added a lot of shelters and re-done stops throughout the Greater Trail area and they’ve improved, which is great,” he added. “But our next step we want to see, is an improvement to that exchange area, because we are not putting our best foot forward by any means.”
Thomas and Trevor Stach, (Trail Transit manager) are committed to finding a stop where all riders feel secure.
“We would like to see proper pull-in signage, washrooms, lighting, and potentially, security cameras so anyone going there will feel safe, no matter the age,” he said.
Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk brought verbal concern to regional partners in the East End Services last week following community and Trail Transit feedback.
Danchuk sits on the West Kootenay Regional Transit Committee, and clarified that while the matter is in the preliminary stage, he’s heard about the site’s challenges and suggested the group start considering other options.
“The transfer station has been brought to our attention,” he told the Trail Times.
“There is no real cover there for people who may be coming in to go to the hospital or anywhere else,” he said. “Our transit people are asking if we couldn’t start to look for a better spot, like in Castlegar or Nelson, where they have an area to pull in off the road, and they have washroom (and other) amenities.”
He acknowledged complaints from riders about the Trail stopover, especially during winter months and the lack of shelter, but reiterated discussion still has to be introduced at the committee level
“What we want to do is look at it down the road,” Danchuk added. “And find out if it is possible..with partnering, that we find a better spot for the transfer station in Trail.”
A better location would improve the service overall, Thomas maintains, and would free up time for additional bus runs.
“Because we are driving deep into town, we lose five minutes every run,” he explained. “If those five minutes were put toward actual routes, we could get an extra run, for example, to Rossland, Glenmerry or Fruitvale.”
Trail Transit runs the Columbia Zone (Greater Trail, Castlegar) of the West Kootenay Transit System, and operates the bus service on behalf of two partners, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and BC Transit.
“We just want it safe and clean and something that will represent what we believe transit wants to be,” Thomas said. “We want to be an outstanding service for our customers, and what we are saying, is maybe there is a better location.”
BC Transit spokesperson Mike Russell confirmed a service review is slated for next month, that will include rider response about the Cedar Avenue exchange as well as other local transit specifics.
“We are going to be out in the community and really looking for feedback,” he said, noting BC Transit has received details about Trail’s main station. “Our employees will be on the ground talking to people who are out there riding buses, and talking to the community. We will be asking them to provide input through a survey to try to capture (information) about a bus stop like this, timing, traffic, and all those sorts of things.”