Calls to expand the bus routes across the city have been answered, if only for a trial run.
The City of Dawson Creek council voted on Monday to change some existing bus routes to put in new stop further in the northwest portion of the city on a provisional basis.
"We had some people in the northwest portion of the town come forward with suggestion that we look at moving some transit up in that area," said Mayor Mike Bernier.
"Hopefully we'll get a lot of usage in that area, and if that's the case, we'll look at doing it on a permanent basis."
Last July, Brandi Geddes, who lives in the northwest portion of the city, wanted to extend the bus route further up into her area.
Before the vote passed, the bus only went in a loop near 92nd Ave. and 19th Street. Now, the bus will go further into the northwest portion of Dawson Creek. That area has seen much more growth, as developers have built new subdivisions within that area.
Kevin Henderson, the city's director of infrastructure and sustainable development, said that he did not know where exactly this new bus stop would be.
He said that city has sent off a letter to B.C. Transit, the provincial group responsible for organizing public transit within the province.
Henderson added that based on what he has heard from BC Transit, they seemed to accept the idea, but that it would be the end of December before any final decision could be made about the bus stop placement.
Calls to B.C. Transit spokeswoman Merideth Burton about this extension were not answered as of press time.
He said that the bus route extension could be started as early as January 2014.
However, the bus route will only go from September until June to ensure that the seasonal service to the Rotary Lake area west of the city is also maintained.
“It'll go into both and hopefully alleviate some of the concerns that people have in that area but also people who want to use rotary lake in the summertime,” said Bernier.
However, in addition to these steps, Henderson said that there must be information spread out to the community about this possibility.
Bernier said that the number of people who support a bus route in the northwest area may not necessarily be the number of people who actually ride the bus.
The motion to support the decision was made unanimously, with the exception of Councillor Charlie Parslow.
Parslow pointed out that the bus system was very costly to Dawson Creek taxpayers, who pay up to $700,000 annually to support the bus system.
“I can’t support this without a time frame [for the trial] and cost implications,” he said.
However, others praised the new bus route.
“I see (children in the subdivision) using this service to get to school.”