Brandon Transit will be making permanent changes to two North Hill bus routes after continuing complaints that the current buses aren’t arriving in time for riders to transfer at the downtown bus mall.
The city says the changes were accelerated after the closure of the Eighth Street bridge earlier this month.
"Over the past number of years, we have seen the demographics in ridership along the routes servicing the city’s North Hill change quite dramatically, in terms of where people are accessing buses and how scheduling is affected by growing traffic volumes," said Brandon Transit manager Carla Richardson.
"With the recent closure of the Eighth Street bridge, the already tight timelines of the Kirkcaldy and Rec Centre routes have only been exacerbated and that is certainly causing frustration for riders and operators. As such, we’ve decided to use this as an opportunity to move forward with some much-needed routes changes that we anticipate will better meet our current and future needs on the North Hill."
The bridge has been closed for more than two weeks after a lateral support beam underneath was hit by a five-ton truck.
Detailed maps of the new routes are available online at brandontransit.ca and will be posted inside buses, at the Brandon Transit Information Office on Rosser Avenue and in media ads. The routes will begin operating on Monday.
The city says it will be looking for public feedback on the routes, and a public consultation is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
A shuttle bus will be available to ferry members of the public to the consultation, and will depart from the downtown bus mall at 6:30 p.m. that evening.
"After transit users have had a chance to experience the new North Hill routes, their feedback is certainly encouraged. We are even asking for users to help name these routes once they get up and running," Richardson said. "We are implementing these route changes in order to better serve our Brandon Transit customers, so we absolutely need to know what’s working well or what needs improvement."
For now, the routes will be referred to as Route 4 and Route 5.
» Brandon Sun