Increased bus service to start in new
by Prince George Citizen
Students at the University of Northern British Columbia will enjoy increased bus service starting next week.
Effective Wednesday, Jan. 2, a bus will be added to the 15 UNBC/15th Avenue route to create a 15-minute service up University Way from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and down University Way from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The addition will also mean increased service to the College of New Caledonia during those hours.
Those commuting downtown will also benefit as a bus will also be added to the 11 Heritage/10th Avenue and the 5 Victoria/Fifth Avenue to make them half-hour services between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.
The extra buses will be deployed for the school year, from September to June.
As well, under a pilot project the 15 UNBC/15th Avenue will run hourly between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday from January to mid April, to see if students will use the system to go downtown on those nights.
The additions represent an extra 3,600 hours of service a year at a cost of $250,000, with $120,000 coming from the provincial government and $130,000 expected to be picked up through additional revenue.
As well, two brand new Nova buses have been added to the fleet to provide the addtional service. Three more Nova buses will also be delivered shortly, replacing smaller existing buses, to accommodate increasing passenger volumes.
“This service expansion is very welcome,” said Mayor Colin Kinsley in a press release. “Enhancing service to UNBC, as well as the community as a whole, has been our goal. Our funding partnerships are what make it happen - not only now, but well into the future.”
Ridership is expected to reach just over 1.3 million by the end of the fiscal year, city hall transit analyst Aidan Kelly said, an increase of about 100,000 over 2006-07.
"It's sort of been the the trend over the last four years, in the neighbourhood of a 100,000 increase each year," he said. "It's a good, consistent increase every year and it looks like it's going to keep going and the added service will further boost the ridership."
- Prince George Transit will provide free service on New Year's Eve, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Following a break for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, regular service resumed on Thursday and continue through to 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve when the free service starts -- no alcohol will be permitted on the buses.