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Kimberley approves public transit network expansion

Kimberley’s public transit network will be expanded, following approval from city council.

Council members opted to expand all of the community’s transit routes: the Kimberley-Cranbrook commuter, Winter Shuttle and the Route 24 local on-demand transit service.

“Public transit in a small community like Kmberley is always difficult. We have, as a community, built a pretty solid public transit system,” said Mayor Don McCormick.

McCormick said the community’s public transit service is frequently used by residents and visitors.

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“The demand for these services has gone up, and council has made the decision to invest further in these programs and add to that level of service,” said McCormick.

A significant part of Kimberley’s population either doesn’t drive during certain parts of the year or doesn’t drive at all.

“It’s a fairly substantial number of folks in the community, so expanding the service to the benefit of those folks has been the primary reason,” said McCormick.

The Kimberley-Cranbrook route has been quite popular in particular.

“We have in the neighbourhood of 5,000 plus trips per day going between Kimberley and Cranbrook,” said McCormick. “By expanding that service into Cranbrook, we’re hoping that what is already a popular service will be able to service more people.”

McCormick said the official start date of the expansion is not set in stone just yet.

“I would expect that the expansion of service for the Ski Shuttle will occur prior to the opening of this ski season,” said McCormick. “The others will fall into place as we add additional buses to the fleet. It will depend on how long it takes to actually get those extra buses.”

City officials estimate the expansion to cost Kimberley $85,103 per year to operate.

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