Bus riders will be rejoicing come this spring when Kootenay Boundary Transit System makes its schedule more flexible for Greater Trail residents making their way home after work.
An additional 2,400 hours will be added to the local transit system to accommodate a run leaving downtown after 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and a late-night run Fridays after 9 p.m.
The extended hours are made possible because BC Transit pays 42 per cent of the cost associated with the increase, according to outgoing Trail councillor Fred Romano.
“It’s not every year that they say we have these hours available,” said Romano, who sits on the regional committee.
Beyond the funds received from BC Transit, the local transit system will cover the approximate $135,000 remaining to afford the schedule changes.
But Romano said this amount could be cut into thirds if demand meets supply and savings are made elsewhere.
“With additional revenue and opportunity to decrease operating expenses, that $135,000 could be as low as $38,000,” he said.
John MacLean, administrator for Kootenay Boundary Regional District, agreed, adding the “un-reduced amount of $135,000” will be greatly cut when fare revenue is accounted for and with the reduction of two buses from the local fleet.
“We’ve got a a very large fleet so we’ve been working with BC Tranist and Trail transit to look at ways we can achieve some effencies with the fleet without having large impacts on the ridership,” he said.
MacLean estimates that the additional hours could cost up to $50,000 for Greater Trail residents come next year.
The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, with funding and administrative assistance from BC Transit, operates transit in Greater Trail.
For more information on bus services, visit www.transitbc.com/regions/kob/ or call 364-0261.