A bus loop at Nanaimo’s waterfront could be moving up the road to Terminal Avenue-Commercial Street, the city says.
The transit exchange was relocated from Prideaux Street to Front Street in 2019 due to Bastion Street bridge upgrades, and now there is potential for another move, said Jamie Rose, City of Nanaimo transportation manager, speaking to city councillors during a meeting Monday, April 12.
Front Street, along with the locales at Terminal-Commercial and Terminal-Cliff Street, were “front-running locations” mentioned in a downtown mobility hub study back in 2019, Rose said at the meeting, and criteria such as “proximity to downtown” and “end-of-trip amenities” were much more valued than specific location.
“With all the information we had at the time, the most appealing site was Front Street…” Rose told the News Bulletin. “Some things have changed and we’ve got some more information [about] the Commercial-Terminal site, and so we’re just taking an opportunity to go back and take a look at some stuff and make sure that we really do have … the site we could see as being most successful for the city.”
Neither he nor Tyler Brown, Regional District of Nanaimo board chairman, could comment further on what has led to revisiting the Terminal and Commercial area.
“Honestly, we’re too early into it to make real comment,” said Rose. “As I said, it was one of the sites that we looked at. Some things have changed and we just need to go back and double-check.”
“There’s numerous factors, at any given time, where we might site these things,” said Brown. “Obviously, it’s always property availability, does it suit the need of a given project, does it make sense from a siting perspective and long-term plan? So there’s all those sorts of considerations.”
He said in addition to the RDN and the City of Nanaimo, B.C. Transit is also involved in decision-making.
“[Front Street] is working reasonably well or better than the Prideaux exchange…” said Brown. “We’re just doing the mobility hub and any follow-up work with the partners just to firm up a spot and make sure that when we do proceed with the final siting, where we want it to be for 10, 20, 30 years, we’re just making sure we’ve got the right spots … Due diligence-type stuff.”
Rose told the News Bulletin he estimates providing an update to council in the next two months.