On Tuesday (April 16th) evening, Chelsea Mossey from BC Transit was in Merritt to speak with city staff and make a presentation to council. The presentation touched on a variety of things from stats and figures from years past to their partnership with the Nicola Valley Transportation Service.
During the presentation Councillor Kurt Christopherson asked about the service expansion out towards Coldwater. Acting CAO Sheila Thiessen spoke to the current state of the project and a possible timeline.
“It’s scheduled for next year,” said Thiessen. “The difficulty with Coldwater is we have to get the commitment from the Coldwater Band and the TNRD. And it takes the TNRD a year or so to establish the service. It’s something we’ve been working on, but we’re not firm yet.”
Also discussed during the evening was accessibility.
“Recently someone who uses a wheelchair talked to me about access to taxis, I was wondering what possibilities there are to transport that after hours when the buses aren’t running,” asked Councillor Travis Fehr.
“We recognize that there is a shortage of accessible taxis across the Province and it’s certainty something we’re looking at and it’s something we could work with you here on as well,” said Mossey.
Currently there are zero wheelchair taxis in Merritt.
Some of the stats provided yesterday about the service locally here in Merritt;
- 5,000 hours annually
- 75,000 passenger trips per year equaling 14.7 passengers per hour
- Three buses operating four routes
- Fares haven’t changed since April 1, 2017
The service is funded by a nearly 50-50 split with the local government funding 49.31 percent and the provincial share being 50.69. The local government however retains 100 percent of the revenue.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt