A new Squamish bus route will shave 10 minutes off wait times between Garibaldi Village and downtown, officials said this week.
On Tuesday (Oct. 15), the ignition was turned on the community’s new Tantalus route, which connects that neighbourhood with Squamish’s two main commercial hubs. It marks a two-way win, said Matthew Boyd, B.C. Transit senior transit planner. Not only does the route serve a new area, but it cuts 30-minute wait cycles between Garibaldi Village and downtown to 20 minutes.
The Tantalus route will run weekdays as a peak-time commuter service. It adds a new bus and approximately 2,000 hours of service to Squamish’s system. Crown corporation officials anticipate 15 people per hour will use the bus route, ramping up as word gets out.
“Usually, route ridership starts slow, then grows quite quickly,” Boyd said.
The service helps better connect two key commercial areas, Mayor Rob Kirkham said at the route’s launch. It’s a more direct run than other buses already on the roads, he noted.
“It fits in with our focus on council. We recognized transit needed a step up,” Kirkham said, adding District of Squamish officials pumped approximately $250,000 into the system.
Squamish ridership increased by six per cent in the past year. In 2011-’12 citizens took 203,814 trips on public transit, a figure that jumped by 12,306 trips this year.
Last month, transit operating hours were extended until 11 p.m. from Mondays through to Saturdays. Wheels continued to roll on Sundays and statutory holidays as well.
For more information on the Tantalus route and hours visit www.transitbc.com and click on regions before visiting the Squamish transit system tab.