Two-thirds of transit riders in Port Alberni aren’t happy with the new system so changes are in the offing, BC Transit spokesperson James Wadsworth said.
Transit officials released survey results and recommendations Monday. City councillors accepted the results and passed a motion to implement changes by this spring.
A big-picture review of the service will be undertaken annually.
BC Transit made a series of changes to Port Alberni’s transit system last August. The previous six routes were replaced with four which promised faster service and a central transfer point.
Transit service dipped after August but has since recovered, Wadsworth said. Nevertheless, another transit survey has sparked a second round of changes.
Specific complaints included the Southside route not being direct enough to downtown; poor service to the Port Alberni Friendship Centre; lack of hospital service. There’s also a perception of longer travel times and fewer route choices and hours, Wadsworth said.
Transit will make a series of changes as a result of the survey.
The Southside route will be reversed to travel directly downtown, stop at the friendship centre and Harbour Quay. As well, Route 4 Crosstown will serve the hospital and the Ship Creek/Cameron Loop on evenings and Sundays.
Also, the loop at Maebelle Road and Brandon Avenue will be removed from the Pacific Rim route.
Instead, the route will be tacked onto the River Road route bus servicing Roger Street-Wallace Street-and 10th Avenue. The new addition will give Wallace Street residents a direct route to Walmart, Wadsworth said.
Bus schedules and timetables will be posted at key bus stops, he added.
Coun. Cindy Solda inquired about service for residents at a trailer court near Maebelle Road. Wadsworth replied that the survey noted there were few if any pickups. “Port Alberni has a big voice and they will vocalize,” Solda said.