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B.C. Transit extends bus route to hospital

After public concerns over the lack of a bus route to the new hospital, the City of Fort St. John has announced what it calls a "solution" to the problem. B.C. Transit route #1 - Northside will be extended to circle the new hospital loop, extended east from its normal turn on 89A Street.

Members of City Council met with City staff, B.C. Transit, and Diversified Transportation Wednesday to come up with changes Mayor Lori Ackerman says were necessary.

"This is not a new mall or restaurant, this is a hospital and care facility that needs transit," she says, "therefore, a timely solution is needed."

Four changes to the route have been made, effective Tuesday, August 7. In order to keep the route at 30 minutes, the bus will no longer stop directly in front of Northern Lights College, but 370 metres away by Kin Park. The bus will now continue along 110 Avenue, and no longer dip down to run along 108 Avenue. It will still stop on 98 Street and 108 Avenue. Instead of turning left on 89A Street when heading east, the bus will now continue along 112 Avenue to the hospital, then turn around to then turn right on 89A Street.

The solution is temporary for now, until a full review of B.C. Transit's services in Fort St. John can be done.

"B.C. Transit is pleased that we were able to meet with the Mayor of Fort St. John and city staff, to examine an interim solution for conventional transit service to the new Fort St. John hospital," says B.C. Transit President and CEO Manuel Achadinha. "We ask for our customers’ patience as we make changes to route #1 and further ask our riders to give us feedback on the new routing, so we can continue to operate an efficient and effective transit system in the Fort St. John community."

B.C. Transit and Fort St. John have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to complete a major service review, which is expected to be completed in 2013. The City says it's possible a fourth major transit route could be implemented in 2014.

The update schedule for the route is available for download below or here.

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