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This week’s Pass Herald masthead is pink, in support of Pink Day - June 1st.


Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council passed a motion to direct Adminstration to undertake a needs assessment for a possible expansion of the local transit system at the GPC meeting on May 24th.
Director of Community Services Cam Mertz provided a report to Council outlining the costs of starting up a transit service, in addition to the existing Town Rounder service, which would extend from 61st Street in Coleman to the MDM Community Complex in Bellevue.
He said there would be approximately $201,000 in startup cost, including the purchase of a bus and construction of bus shelters and bus stops.
Expenditure from that point on would run around $312,000 for wages and operational costs, and the service would bring in about $15,000 in service fare, based on an estimate of 15 riders per day paying $2 for one way fare.
“Some of the cost could be offset through federal grant funding,” said Mertz.
The service would include 24 scheduled stops, about two minutes apart, and would run 14 hours per day, five days a week, with one bus and two operators.
The total trip would have a run time of between 45 and 60 minutes each way.
Mertz said he would like Council to send out a community-wide survey to determine the number of residents who would plan on utilizing the service.
Councillor Brian Gallant noted that during his seven months on Council, only one resident has approached him about increasing transit service in the community.
“I don’t think we’ve established a need,” said Gallant.

Councillor Emile Saindon asked if Administration had looked into the possibility of combining this proposed service with the existing Town Rounder.
“We have had tons of opportunity to look at combining the service, but the community did not want the existing service to be jeopardized in any way,” Mertz responded.
He did note there could be opportunity to integrate the two services into the existing Town Rounder schedule, which only runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
He said additional service could be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at other times when the service is not being utilized by seniors.
Councillor Siegbert Gail also brought up the idea of having local advertisers pay for ad space on the exterior and interior of the bus, in order to help offset costs.
Mayor Bruce Decoux noted that the service could also be utilized by local schools, allowing for a reduction in school bus service.
Mertz said many of these issues could be addressed a later date, after the needs assessment has been completed.
“There are many details that are not provided in this,” said Mertz. “This is just a framework to get the ball rolling and get the direction of Council.”
Councillor Andrew Saje made a motion to direct Administration to undertake a needs assessment, whcih will be sent out with municipal utility bills, and to report back to Council with their findings on September 6th.
The motion was carried unanimously.
The 2011 Transit Survey will include 12 questions, as well as a section for any comments or questions that may help improve the service.
The survey will be distributed this month.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 22 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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