KAMLOOPS, B.C. – BC Transit's new state-of-the-art transit centre opened today in Kamloops to meet the growing demand for public transportation in the city.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Cathy McLeod joined Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Blair Lekstrom, Environment Minister and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake, Kamloops Mayor and BC Transit Board member Peter Milobar and BC Transit President and CEO Manuel Achadinha to celebrate the official opening.
"Investing in infrastructure is a key part of the Harper government's plan to create jobs for Canadians," said Parliamentary Secretary McLeod. "We remain committed to working together with our partners to improve transit services for Kamloops residents and to promote long-term economic growth in our community."
"Our government directly invests more into transit than any other province," said Minister Lekstrom. "Kamloops is a growing community and this facility will help meet the needs of the public and make transit a more convenient choice for transportation."
"The new transit centre in Kamloops will help BC Transit deliver effective services to passengers," said Minister Lake. "More people are discovering that transit is an attractive alternative to driving their own vehicle, which removes cars from our roads and helps make our community a healthier place to live."
"With the increase in ridership in Kamloops, we are pleased to have this new facility to better accommodate our transit needs, while at the same time honouring our commitment to being a greener city," said Mayor Milobar.
"BC Transit is proud to deliver our services from this new and impressive facility," said Mr. Achadinha. "This new Transit Centre will enable BC Transit to effectively and efficiently meet the growing demand for transit in the City of Kamloops."
The newly built Transit Centre will better meet the needs of the increasing number of users in the Kamloops area. BC Transit had outgrown its former facility that included four service bays and was designed for 9.1-metre (30-foot) buses. The new transit centre at 1460 Ord Road is equipped with seven service bays and is able to accommodate today's conventional fleet of 12.2 metre (40-foot) buses.
The time-consuming, manual bus cleaning method has been replaced with a 90-second automated bus wash. Eighty per cent of the water used is recycled, reducing environmental impact.
The new location has double the capacity for bus parking with 85 spaces. The old yard could only accommodate 40 buses.
The $15.6-million Transit Centre was funded by the Government of Canada through the Building Canada Fund, BC's Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the City of Kamloops.
More than 3.6 million people rode BC Transit in Kamloops in 2011-12 – a four per cent increase over last year. The new Transit Centre is designed to support transit growth over the next 25 years.
Demolition of a portion of the former transit depot is expected to be complete in September 2012. That site will be redeveloped as a City of Kamloops satellite municipal public works yard.