Community Bus Proposal
Proposed Service Changes in Parksville / Qualicum Beach for 2004
Community Bus Proposal
Present transit service within Parksville and Qualicum Beach operates two full size conventional buses every 60 minutes connecting at Downtown Parksville with the Woodgrove Mall Connector every second trip. One mini-bus provides handyDART service within the region.
To achieve service efficiencies, improve productivity and meet overall transportation needs of Parksville and Qualicum Beach it is proposed that the present conventional and handyDART services be blended together. Conventional connector service would continue to operate between Woodgrove Centre and Wembley Mall. Highlights of the proposed service include:
Client Market Impact
- All day local service, currently provided by 2 conventional buses and one handyDART van, is replaced by 2 small "Community Buses" using fully accessible neighbourhood friendly "Polar" Minibuses with space for 21 passengers plus 2 wheelchairs.
- All day Woodgrove Connector service is restructured to link Wembley Mall and Woodgrove Centre every 90 minutes and provide timed connections at Wembley Mall to Community Buses.
- Community Buses provide 90 minute conventional fixed route service on existing local routes through Parksville, French Creek and Qualicum Beach neighbourhoods.
- To service handyDART clients, additional time is incorporated within the Community Bus operating schedule to allow trip diversions for door-to-door service.
- Transit coverage is now available to all neighbourhoods (subject to operating constraints).
- Commuter service with conventional buses (2 trips AM and 2 trips PM) is maintained.
- Present Woodgrove Connector service to Nanoose and Northwest Bay Road remains unchanged.
- Wembley Mall provides an improved transfer and terminus facility for passengers.
- Fleet Plan would include the replacement of one conventional bus with one handyDART mini-bus. Fleet makeup would include 2 mini-buses (for local Community Bus service) and 2 conventional buses (one for Woodgrove Connector service and one for commuter trips only).
As outlined above, the present four commuter trips will remain unchanged. These trips will continue to use big buses with no transfers required. Conventional passengers during midday will now have a fixed route schedule provided by a smaller neighbourhood friendly bus. Service will be every 90 minutes making time connections at Wembley Mall with the Woodgrove Connector. Conventional mid-day passengers will also experience diversions off route to accommodate handyDART clients.
Clients currently using handyDART in Parksville and Qualicum Beach will see the greatest change. Trips and schedules may require adjustment, however, the new "Community Bus" style of service will provide more travel options to most clients.