City council will be looking at putting money aside in 2019 for bus route enhancements.
Specifically, Salmon Arm’s mayor and councillors agreed to give consideration during their upcoming 2019 budget deliberations to allocating $35,000 for potential route enhancements to be cost-shared with BC Transit. This was part of a motion by Coun. Tim Lavery focused on the province’s transit system provider.
Lavery also asked that council direct city staff to work with BC Transit to update a 2017 review of the city’s transit services that included options for enhancements.
As part of their update, staff and BC Transit are asked to provide the current estimated costs of those enhancements, as well as confirmation of the percentage of those costs BC Transit will contribute.
The next step would be the development of a memorandum of understanding for route enhancements.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren spoke favourably of the motion, noting she works with people for whom public transit is key to being able to get to their jobs or educational requirements.
“Some of them end up not being able to stay in Salmon Arm because they aren’t able to get around independently,” said Lindgren. “So I think this is a really important initiative that we need to support. I think it’s a big part of being a grown-up in this community for a lot of the kids that grew up here and I think that it’s a really cost effective way to provide a service.”
Coun. Kevin Flynn was initially hesitant on the $35,000 being put in the budget with no certainty it would be used. However, he was amenable to the money going into a reserve, and was onboard with his fellow councillors when they voted in favour of the motion.
Lavery suggested the update could come back to council in the spring or fall of 2019.
BC Transit currently provides eight bus routes that service Salmon Arm, including routes to Enderby, Eagle Bay and Sorrento.