Greyhound is cutting back on its daytime bus service to the North Thompson Valley and Thompson-Nicola Regional District is moving to fill the gap.
Three public meetings held last Tuesday and Wednesday in Blue River, Clearwater and Barriere did not attract a lot of interest, said Ron Storie, TNRD manager of community services.
The meetings were nevertheless important, in that they brought forward proposals from the regional district to formalize and possibly to expand the Valley Connector bus service.
The service has been running on a weekly basis from Clearwater to Kamloops for some time on a trial basis, he said.
The bus also has been running from Blue River to Kamloops once a month.
What was proposed at the three meetings was putting the service onto a permanent basis and possibly expanding it.
“It’s certainly being used, so the directors felt it would be worth looking at putting it onto a full-time basis,” Storie said.
Cost of the service for the Clearwater to Barriere area (including Areas A and O) would be $5.53 on a $100,000 home.
This would raise about $40,000 per year for a weekly service, with the possibility of increasing it to twice a week.
For residents of Area B (Thompson Headwaters) the cost would be $2.02 for a $100,000 home in Blue River or Avola.
The TNRD is seeking approval for the tax increase through what is called the alternate approval process. That means those opposed to the additional spending will be given a month to collect signatures of people against the proposal. If they collect names of more than 10 per cent of the voters in the area, then the proposal will be dropped.
Such an approach is simpler and cheaper than the alternatives, petition and referendum, Storie said.
If the recommendation is approved, user fees will remain about the same. A ticket from Blue River to Clearwater will cost $5, while one from Blue River to Kamloops will be $10.
A ticket from Clearwater to Kamloops will cost $7.50 while one from Barriere to Kamloops will be $5.