New buses arriving in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary
Trail – Seven new BC Transit Vicinity buses are coming to the West Kootenay Transit System. Two buses will arrive this summer, and five will arrive in 2018.
“Our government is committed to investing in transit – it makes services accessible and life more affordable for British Columbians," said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We anticipate the inclusion of CCTV cameras on these buses will improve the safety of everyone on board.”
“This is great news for the Kootenays, and is an important step toward building a better B.C.,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and MLA for Kootenay West. “My hope is that it will encourage more people to choose public transit in the region.”
The new buses are made by Grande West Transportation International Ltd., based in Aldergrove, B.C. The 30-foot and 35-foot medium duty buses will help better meet the transit needs of the communities they serve as they perform better and have more safety features than the current fleet of buses.
Each of the 30-foot Vicinity buses can seat 24 passengers with room for another 20 standees. Each of the 35-foot Vicinity buses can seat 30 passengers with room for another 24 standees. In both models, there is also space for two mobility aids. The new buses are equipped with two doors for more efficient operation and easier access on and off the bus by customers.
"I welcome the introduction of the new buses and modernization of the transit system in Castlegar and the surrounding area with the aim of continuing to increase ridership and drive efficiency to the public," said Lawrence Chernoff, West Kootenay Transit Committee Chair and City of Castlegar Mayor.
“The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is pleased to continue our partnership with BC Transit and the Province of British Columbia is providing safe and efficient transit services to our communities,” said Director Ali Grieve, Chair of the RDKB East End Service Committee. “These new buses represent a commitment to modernization and improvement.”
Each 30-foot bus will cost approximately $319,000, and is funded by the Province of BC and the local government through BC Transit’s local government lease fee program. Each 35-foot bus will cost approximately $347,000 and are part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June 2016.
“The new buses will help us better connect people and communities in the West Kootenay Transit System,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer. “Customers will see and hear a difference with the new buses as they are more effective and efficient.”
The new buses will also have active closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras to improve the safety of our customers and drivers. Cameras have been installed on buses in Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, Whistler, Dawson Creek, Quesnel, Penticton, Nelson, Vernon, and Victoria. Details about the CCTV camera program can be found at bctransit.com.
The introduction of these seven vehicles replace older vehicles in the fleet. It is part of a larger province-wide refresh and expansion program, with over 100 buses arriving in communities across British Columbia over the next two-years from Grande West, New Flyer and ARBOC.
More details about the West Kootenay Transit System can be found at bctransit.com/west-kootenay.