West Kootenay Transit open houses will help shape future

The public transit system within the West Kootenay stands poised to become one of the few truly regional transit systems in the province.

The public transit system within the West Kootenay stands poised to become one of the few truly regional transit systems in the province.

The West Kootenay Transit Committee is holding a series of open houses within the region to inform the public of the plans and seek final input before it goes fully operational in the spring of 2013.

“We’re looking at these open houses as opportunities to show the map of the proposed system and outline the fares and schedules for the public,” said Meribeth Burton, corporate spokesperson for BC Transit.

“We want to give people an idea of how it will look in the spring and ask if the schedule works.”

The goal of the committee has been to develop a transit system for the area where someone can get on a bus in Trail and travel straight through to Castlegar, the Slocan Valley, Nakusp, or Nelson and all points between.

The West Kootenay Transit system incorporates seven different regions currently operating nine different systems into a single entity.

The advantage of the regional system is that pooling the transit resources of many smaller communities reduces the operational cost for all and provides greatly increased convenience for people wanting to travel throughout the area without having to use personal vehicles.

“The smaller the system, the more expensive it is to operate,” said Burton.

“With shared buses, common routes, and coordinated schedules it reduces the costs for everybody. There is strength in numbers.”

The committee, made up of area directors from each of the Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary Regional Districts along with a council representative from the City of Nelson was created to work together to manage resources and funding.

The group has been notably successful in their coordinated work, being honoured with a Community Excellence Award in the Partnerships category at the annual Union of BC Municipalities meeting in September.

Although there are a few other examples of regional systems in the province, in the Kelowna/West Kelowna are and on Vancouver Island, the West Kootenay example is rare in that it was mainly a grassroots initiative that ties together numerous smaller communities spread over a wide geographical area.

Burton explained that much of the drive for creating the system came from input from people in the region.

“One of the loudest voices we heard was from students in the area,” she said. “It’s more affordable for them to be able to continue living at home in Trail, for example, and carry on their post-secondary education in Castlegar or Nelson. It also has the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The West Kootenay Transit Committee will be holding its local open house at the Trail Campus of Selkirk College, Dec. 6  from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the public is invited to attend to find out more about the regional system.

Just Posted

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read