New route to help college students

BC Transit makes needed services changes in Terrace, BC

STUDENTS and staff will soon have an express bus route to take them to and from the Northwest Community College campus during peak hours.

The new route #6 will go from downtown up Lanfear Drive to McConnell and then circle down to Kalum Lake Road to Mountain Vista and back downtown. Service will be provided during peak hours.

This is one of several recommendations that came out of a review of Terrace’s bus system by B.C Transit that wrapped up August 20 at a city council committee of the whole meeting.

Visiting BC Transit official Todd Dupuis presented council and staff with his final recommendations of bus routing changes to the city which will be up for adoption at the next regular council meeting August 26.

Dupuis said that the most recent public consultation found that “there was a lot of confusion at the user level” and the new routing will solve some of the irregularities.

This includes several changes to Terrace’s current five routes as well as the creation of the new express route servicing Northwest Community college.

Here are the highlights listed in the meeting:

*The #1 College/Halliwell route will now run in both directions, with the portion from Halliwell from Thomas to Kalum Lake Drive no longer in service.

* The #2 route will now follow Sparks St. through town instead of Kalum.

* The #3 will be reversed to allow easy access to a new stop at the UNBC campus on Keith Ave.

* The #4 Queensway/Gitaus will now include service to Walmart and the Real Canadian Superstore.

* The #5 to Thornhill will have a minor change in direction in one segment to make travel time shorter.

* Routes running by Walmart and Real Canadian Wholesale Club will have stops there.

Dupuis said that BC Transit needs a minimum of ten weeks to create new schedules and arrange the new routing.

While the new schedule will attempt to make service better to Gitaus and Thornhill, there was no new money budgeted by the city so there is no additional service to these routes.

Councillor Brian Downie and Bruce Bidgood spoke of the need for making the implementation speedy as possible and also having it fit with changes in the season and school schedules.

Council and staff pegged early January as a good time for implementation and director of public works Rob Schibli said he would like to make any sign post moves before snowfall and freezing.

There was also talk about longer term plans including adding new bus shelters, and having Sunday service, but that would not happen right away.