Regional District of Nanaimo considers rapid transit line

NANAIMO – Nanaimo transit service could be adding a rapid transit bus line along the Island Highway corridor in the near future.

The Regional District of Nanaimo could be adding a rapid transit bus line along the Island Highway corridor in the near future.

District staff are in the process of developing a transit future plan, which looks at transit in the short, medium and long term. Included in the short-term, or five-year, priorities, a rapid transit network for the highway and completion of a related study.

Regional District of Nanaimo transit operations manager Daniel Pearce said express buses along the highway were something residents seemed keen on based on public consultation for the transit future plan.

“Based on our system and the growth we’ve seen in our system the last number of years, we do see it as some of the next steps in order to move our system forward and provide that service to the region,” he said.

Should the regional district board approve the plan, a more detailed review would be done and more consultation for the public and stakeholders would be held, including surveys and open houses, to garner feedback on a number of things, including infrastructure.

“Part of a rapid line would be looking at different types of stop stations, so it would be looking at designs for that, trying to figure out what best fits the community. Where those need to be located,” said Pearce.

The final draft of the transit future plan will be brought before the regional district transit select committee in February and then to the board for approval at a future board meeting.

Transit service to be extended to Snaw-Naw-As First Nation

The Regional District of Nanaimo signed a community transit partnership agreement with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation for the provision of custom transit (HandyDart) service.

Previously, the HandyDart service made stops around the Snaw-Naw-As upper village site but did not stop in the village.

According to a press release, the two had been working on the agreement since the spring and the service will incorporate the user-pay system with cost determined by the number of rides received by the community.

The service will begin in 2014 and the cost will be shared with B.C. Transit.