Adding hours to bus service leaves council hesitant

City council wants more information before deciding whether to put as much as $265,881 towards enhancing the city's transit service.

As part of a long-term strategy, a proposal to add 4,000 hours was presented on Monday night, complete with two options for allocating the time - to split the time evenly between peak and off-peak hours and devote it all to peak hours.

article continues below

Splitting the time would require the addition of one bus and increase the cost by $190,851 per year while putting it all towards peak hours would mean three more buses and a hike of $265,881.

Staff and BC Transit recommended council endorse the more expensive of the two which would allow for express services along the high-use routes during peak times.

The price tag raised alarm bells for Coun. Terri McConnachie.

"I think we've got a lot on our plate right now, our dance card's pretty full," she said. "We're looking at some capital projects. I always, always, always start at yes and work my way backwards and I think I just hit a stumbling block at this time."

While McConnachie initially suggest it be brought back to council next year, she joined others in voting to refer the matter to the finance and audit committee to take a look at such possibilities as raising fares to offset the cost.

Coun. Murry Krause made it known he will oppose any move in that direction, noting that most of the ridership are people living on low incomes.

"I'll just let everyone know at the outset, I will not support any fee increases," he said. "If we can find another way to cover the cost, I'll be supportive of that but I think at this juncture it would just be the wrong thing to do."

Coun. Garth Frizzell, who chairs the finance and audit committee, said the hike amounts to as much as a quarter per cent increase in the property tax levy.

BC Transit needs council's decision by the end of this month to give it time to put in an order for the buses and submit the proposal to the provincial government for approval.

Council will also have until the end of the month to decide whether to spend as much as $40,331 to extend the operating hours provide by the custom or HandyDART service to match those of the conventional service.

Read Related Topics


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Prince George Citizen welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. Comments that contain external links will not be permitted. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus

    Prince George Citizen's Christmas Auction ON NOW! You'll be Glad you Bid!

Mandatory mask harrassment POLL

What do you think is an appropriate punishment for customers who verbally or physically assault store employees enforcing mandatory masks?

or  view results

Popular Citizen

Lowest Gas Prices in Prince George
Prince George Gas Prices provided by