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47 bus stops to be eliminated in Nanaimo

The Nanaimo Regional Transit System will be eliminating 47 bus stops in Nanaimo next month in an effort to maximize efficiencies and establish a better foundation for upcoming improvements to the system.

Daniel Pearce, manager of transit and planning, said virtually all of the stops scheduled to be cancelled are redundant and located close to another stop on the same route, while some were highlighted by bus drivers as being in a dangerous or poor locations to see customers waiting for a bus. Low ridership was also considered.

Provincial standards require that bus stops are located no more than 400 metres from each other.

"We're not taking stops out of areas so people won't have a bus stop," said Pearce. "The system will remain completely accessible to all members of the public."

Seventeen other stops will be moved to more appropriate locations, mostly to average stops out where current ones are located just 100 or 200 metres from each other.

"The bus stop realignment program was to look at all the 576 stops in the City of Nanaimo and the spacing between them," said Pearce, adding that locations were considered for both the safety of drivers and customers, as well as to maximize efficiencies.

Passenger comfort, locations with increased traffic flow that have become difficult for bus drivers to navigate, and fuel efficiency were also considered.

The RDN consulted with front-line drivers, as well as City of Nanaimo staff.

Routes affected include Routes 1,2,3,5 and 44. Changes will be effective Aug. 21 and signage is in place at bus stops scheduled to move or be eliminated.

Pearce said by adjusting bus stops now, the system will be primed to expand without having to make further adjustments in the future.

"We'll be able to add stops where we need to knowing the current ones are already well-placed," he said. "There is a huge upside making sure the stops are in the right places."

Changes to the transit system are routinely made in August.

For a complete list of affected stops visit www.transitbc.com and click on the 'Nanaimo' tab, then 'customer alerts'.

Questions or concerns can be addressed by calling 250-390-4531 Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

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