Charting the way for transit services in Cranbrook – Cranbrook Daily Townsman
City Council will have some options to consider regarding the future of transit services in Cranbrook, following recommendations from a consultant to study the issues facing the system.
Hiring a transit coordinator to work with administration and BC Transit was one of the main suggestions from a consultant studying the issue. A Transit Coordinator position would oversee the local system, resolve customer issues, and liaise with BC Transit to provide feedback on service planning and adjustments.
The consultant made a presentation to city council on November 23, and the report was received for information only as the administration continues to explore options for the future of transit services for the city.
There has been a lack of attention to a service contract between the city and BC Transit in recent years, according to Mark Fercho, the general manager of the City of Cranbrook.
“I think this work that we’ve done with BC Transit, if you’ve noticed, has garnered a lot of attention from BC Transit, as well as the community and the board, and has highlighted where it is. these shortcomings, so there is now some interest in improving some of these things, ”Fercho said, during a discussion on the matter.
“We provide them with a contract when they do, but we don’t provide direct control and oversight of how we should have and they haven’t provided Cranbrook with the service they should and both parties have. recognized that we are now in a place to begin to address this.
“So moving forward, I hope this has been a great reset with the direction we will take with transit. “
The administration has studied the transit service in the city to determine the most suitable route to take, whether it is fixed routes or an on-demand service.
The consultant also recommended that the city continue to pressure BC Transit to provide transit on demand and review existing routes to ensure they justify passenger demand. Another recommendation included working together on an agreement on transit service standards that would provide a framework for monitoring and measuring the Cranbrook transit system.
During the study, the consultant concluded that transit use in Cranbrook has declined over the past decade without investigating the reasons for the decline in ridership. Cranbrook also has several “underperforming” fixed routes, which can be better utilized with on-demand service.
In addition, the consultant concluded that BC Transit would be the ideal operator of transit services, rather than using an independent third-party provider, which would result in much higher municipal costs, as the city would be the sole lessor of system funds and no longer receive provincial transit subsidies to offset costs.
BC Transit is currently examining on-demand transit options across the province, and Cranbrook serves as a case study. The Crown corporation is also due to conduct a service review of Cranbrook’s current network in the near future.
The city recently approved funding to renew BC Transit services through 2023. The total cost of operating transit services in the city is approximately $ 2.1 million, the cost share of the city amounting to approximately $ 900,000.