By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Aug. 17, 2013
Almost every day, Sucha Singh takes the bus from Valleycliffe to reach the Sikh temple, a gathering place for most Sikh elders.
The weekends, however, is a far more involved process.
He either has to wait for a friend to pick him up or he hopes his family members will find something to do in downtown Squamish.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get a ride,” he says
From Sept. 1 onwards, Pashaura and many of those who depend on public transit won’t have to depend on others or stay at home for lack of a ride.
BC Transit, working with District of Squamish, is introducing the following new services.
1, Extended evening service
2, Service on Sundays and statutory holidays
3, A new 15-minute service from Garibaldi Estate to Downtown and back.
The changes are the result of a survey BC Transit conducted two years, asking Squamishers what kind of service they would like to the city.
Coun. Susan Chapelle, chair of the transit committee, said she hopes more people will use the services.
“The community wanted evening and weekend transit and the benefits far outweigh the cost.” Coun. Susan Chapelle.
It would cost the municipality $214, 300 to fund the new service improvements.
Chapelle said it would be interesting to see if more frequent bus service to Garibaldi Estate and Downtown Squamish result in an increase in ridership.
Through her transit committee, Chapelle said she would like to also bring in a smaller community bus, one that would transport people to recreation activities within the town.
Coun. Ted Prior also said transit has always been a council priority and the three service level changes are a step in the right direction.
There will be no immediate fare increase associated with the introduction of these service improvements.
Below are the changes being planned.
Currently, the last trip on the transit system in Squamish leaves downtown at 6:40 p.m., from Monday to Thursday, and Saturday.
The new service will see evening hours extended, with buses plying different routes extended the service to 8 p.m., and beyond.
Sunday and holiday
As for the Sunday and holidays option, the service would operate using one vehicle, from roughly 10:00 to 6:00 pm.
Trips will be offered approximately every hour and a half to two hours on all routes in the system.
New bus route
This new bus route that will operate between Tantalus Road and downtown Squamish via Government Road and Highlands Mall, with a 15-20 minute frequency.
This route will operate during weekday peak times (roughly 6 to 9 am, and then 3 to 6 pm.)
In the past five years, Squamish Transit has shown a 49 per cent increase in ridership over five years.