BC Transit leases the City the busses on 7-year agreements.

Review of Prince Rupert’s bus system to begin public consultation phase

BC Transit want people with ideas about how to improve the bus service in Prince Rupert to come out and share them as public consultation.

BC Transit and the City of Prince Rupert are moving forward with a review of the city’s bus system, which is now starting its public consultation

phase.

There are open houses planned to gather public input today at the Friendship House from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and after that at the Ocean Centre Mall until five p.m.

The review started a few months ago and is looking into what changes – if any – should be made to the conventional bus and HandyDART service to reduce inefficiencies, increase convenience for riders and hopefully increase ridership.

“For some time now I’ve been focusing  my efforts on various areas trying to make sure the system here is as good as it can be. The purpose of the review is looking for ways to improve an already very good system,” Todd Dupris, BC Transit’s senior regional transit manager, told city council at their meeting last Monday.

So far, the review has consisted of talking to the bus operators, the drivers, the city’s staff, and stakeholder groups. BC Transit has also sent up its own people to ride each of the bus routes for a day to collect valuable data about each one.

What they’ve seen so far, says Dupris, shows that the system works pretty well as it is.

“You have a very good coverage model here in Prince Rupert. The routing is actually very well tailored to the geography of the community so I don’t expect any major route changes, but I do expect some recommendations about a left turn here versus a right turn there, where a bus stop could be moved, where one part of town has too many bus stops while another part of town may not have as many bus stops as required,” said Dupris.

The review process is now moving on to include input from residents who use the bus system or would like to use it more. BC Transit is holding open houses as well as putting out an online and print survey for people to fill out if they have ideas on how to improve the bus

system.

After all the consultations and data gathering are done, BC Transit will take that information, analyze it, and come up with recommendations for changes to the system likely by September. Then a second round of consultation will begin to hear people’s thoughts on the proposed changes.

“The people who use the busses now are generally very, very knowledgeable about what the bus is doing, where it’s going and where it should be going. The drivers will tell you firsthand that their riders tell them all the time about what the busses should be or should not be doing,” said Dupris.

City council had some ideas of their own that they brought up at the meeting.

Some councillors wondered if the busses the City is using are too large as they are often mostly empty, and perhaps should be switched for smaller ones that would save the City on fuel expenses.

Dupris said that while they may be empty at some times of the day, they are packed at other times. Many people in Prince Rupert depend on the busses to get to work and because of the school bus system, Prince Rupert’s students rely on it to get to and from school.

Doing so may keep the busses fuller all day, but more busses would be required to deal with the rush hours which would negate any savings on fuel.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson told Dupris that many residents would like to have the busses run later into the evening to nine or even 11 p.m.

She also said that there is a desire for the busses to run on Sundays, especially before and after church, that workers on Ridley Island would also like a bus that could get them to work, and that perhaps the bus schedule could be tweaked so that busses that go to the fish plants could arrive as the shifts begin and end.

Councillor Anna Ashley suggested that the bus system should include a stop at the recycling depot to make it easier for people to get their recyclables there.

Dupris says that the city can basically have anything it wants, and BC Transit will work out what it will cost, but adding new routes and service times will cost the city more money.

Just Posted

Teams set for All Native tournament

The 51-team field features 39 automatic qualifiers and 12 qualifying teams

Sports briefs

Here’s what’s going on in Prince Rupert sports this weekend

PART I: How Prince Rupert schools teach Indigenous language to hundreds of students

A multimedia series with videos and photos from children’s Sm’algyax classes on B.C.’s North Coast

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

UPDATE: Tree planting won’t damage sidewalks on Third Avenue West

City of Prince Rupert dug up holes on downtown sidewalks to make space for trees

Heart of Our City: A fisherman with two loves

Norm Ostrom has owned one boat in his life — Arne A. — for almost 60 years

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read