The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)

Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

The Regional District of Nanaimo thinks it is less than a year away from providing a long-awaited public transit link between the Nanaimo region and Cowichan Valley.

The RDN has endorsed bus service between the two districts and on Thursday is expected to consider motions related to reallocation of transit hours and the purchase of vehicles from B.C. Transit, with the ultimate goal of shuttling commuters between the two regions beginning March 2022.

According to a staff report, RDN Transit has a total of 5,300 unallocated transit hours – 2,500 from a September expansion delayed by COVID-19 and 2,800 from moving Prideaux Street transit exchange to Front Street – which could go toward Cowichan Valley Regional District-RDN service.

RDN board chairperson Tyler Brown said the recommendations are in line with board direction and the transit future plan.

“The board remains committed to increasing transit coverage both between communities that we know populations travel between and also within the community itself,” said Brown.

Three “heavy-duty buses” will be required, but the RDN already has one ordered as part of the delayed September expansion, according to the report. RDN Transit can request B.C. Transit provide the two other buses, with B.C. Transit endeavouring to purchase compressed natural gas vehicles, although other options may be provided until CNG buses can be purchased, according to the report.

“CNG is the preferred bus right now of the RDN, but ultimately it’s B.C. Transit’s call,” said Brown.

Brown said he and Aaron Stone, Ladysmith mayor and CVRD board chairperson, are in favour of providing busing between their regions.

“We’re both huge advocates for increased transit and one area identified by both of us is how do we better connect the regions in absence of a provincial Vancouver Island transit strategy,” Brown said. “That was a goal and I’m optimistic here we’ll see something between the two regional districts that will help folks move between systems and then get to where they want to go.”

If the transit select committee gives approval, the recommendations will be forwarded to the board for its May 25 meeting. The steps after that would include asking B.C. Transit to commit to the vehicles and then working on cost-sharing and scheduling agreements between the regional districts.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: RDN staff recommending busing to Cowichan Valley



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Nanaimo Regional DistrictTransitTransportation

Just Posted

Rob Kernachan editorial cartoon.
Editorial cartoonist focuses on Orange Shirt Day

Orange Shirt Day is the feature of Rob Kernachan’s contribution this week.… Continue reading

The grads of 2021 at Chemainus Secondary School will be resilient based on their experiences through COVID. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Making the most of grad events

Class of 2021 will carry resilience with them throughout their years based on COVID experience

COVID-19 has made the 2020-21 school year at Chemainus Secondary School interesting and challenging for graduates. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Secondary School 2021 graduates

Here’s the young men and women who are embarking on life’s next journey

Girls just wanna have fun. From left: Danielle Dela Cruz, Melanie Cheng, Hanna Starkie, Camille Storteboom, Rebecca Rhode, Sian Diewert and Brianne Pamminger at the Crofton seawalk. (Photo by Alana Starkie)
Prom night brings some semblance of normalcy for 2021 Chemainus grads

Being together at least provides class members with some comfort

Tom Millard served his community well for so many years with the Chemainus Fire Department. (Photo submitted)
Millard dedicated himself to community service

Long-time Chemainus Fire Department member and chief remembered for his commitment

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read