Recent History 2004-2006
By Gary Rusak, 4 August 2005
For the second straight year ridership on the Dawson Creek public transit system has seen a considerable increase, according to a report released by BC Transit.
“Anytime we see an increase we think it is good for the system,” said Jim McKnight, manager of NordBo Services Ltd. The company operates the local system that includes three buses and two separate routes and employs three full-time workers.
According to the July report, the city had 112,843 rides on the two buses over a one-year period, for a nine per cent increase. During the same period throughout 2004, 103,161 rides were counted. The report tallies ridership throughout 24 separate systems. Dawson Creek showed the sixth highest yearly increase, behind Kamloops (16 per cent), Comox Valley, Campbell River, Vernon Regional and Sunshine Coast. McKnight said the increase is probably due to a partnership with School District 59.
“It’s all students in Dawson Creek,” he said. “It’s a result of a decision by the school board made three years ago to cease cross-town busing. So, we picked up quite a number of riders there.”
He said that adding Wal-Mart to one of the bus routes probably did not make a significant difference to the overall number.
“What we picked up there, we lost somewhere else,” he said. Deputy chief administrative officer John Malcolm said that the increase in ridership is a positive sign and that the city is currently looking to expand the system.
“Certainly we are looking to accommodate the Multiplex,” he said adding that BC Transit is expected to submit a study on the viability of another bus route by the end of September.
McKnight said he was aware that the City and BC Transit was looking at expanding the service.
“It’s under study,” said McKnight. “There has been some discussion about adding service for the Multiplex and with the current equipment and routes we just can’t do it.”
Currently, the operating budget for the local transit system is just under $300,000. The cost is shared between the City and BC Transit, a Crown corporation.