Is there enough demand for an evening bus service in our city?
That's the question City Council and Administration are hoping to answer in the not so distant future after an interesting motion was brought forward Monday night during executive committee at City Hall.
The Cultural Diversity Committee was looking for approval from our elected officials to run a pilot project in the evenings to see if there's a need. However, this isn't the first time delegates have opted to see if there are some people who would be more inclined to using City transit service later in the day.
According to the Chairperson for the committee, Dalise Hector, back in 2016, there was an initial pilot project that took place for a few weeks at a time but it didn't go over so well. She believes that was due to many mitigating factors including weather and believes there are also more newcomers to our city with each passing year.
"What I've heard in the community since then was that test was done during spring or summer, so people don't have as much of a desperate need to use the bus at that time, as well, I think some people weren't aware of it, communication is always a challenge and if they're not aware it's happening... and some context has changed since there has been more international students arriving in Moose Jaw," explained Hector. "This was brought to our group from a representative from Sask Polytech and they just felt that their students could really use this. There was some discussion and we realized that transportation is important for a lot of demographics in our community, so we thought maybe it should explore it again, but this time it should more in the wintertime season."
The motion entails that the service is implemented on a test basis starting after September 2019 and that the City also consults with Sask Polytechnic regarding an avenue to fund the service for their students and others who could utilize it in the community.
Councillor Chris Warren was intrigued by the motion and said that this could be a part of discussions that started during the budget process when City officials were looking at the possibility of a commuter bus between Moose Jaw and the queen city saying students and people who work in the neighboring city could use it.
"One of the items that was brought forward as an option of a potential enhancement was around a new service for commuters with SaskPoly tech. I can't remember if it was a direct motion or if it was taken off the table pending further information but I think maybe this discussion belongs within that one too... an overall look at our transit service to see what are the requirements right now and how things have changed over the years. I'd like to refer this to administration pending a future evaluation of our transit service," detailed Warren.
The motion was carried and City Council will now wait for a report from Administration regarding the possibilities of having another pilot project or even an expanded avenue to our transit service.