Using new transit facility adds nearly $500,000 

It will cost the municipality almost half a million dollars more to operate out of B.C. Transit's new $23 million facility compared to the old Function Junction site.

Numbers released by the municipality this week show the cost of leasing the new garage is $800,000. That compares to the $166,000 annual cost of leasing at the old Function Junction bus depot.

There are cost savings that come from the new facility too, totaling $150,000. The new site means less deadheading (travelling times to get to routes when the buses are empty). That, in turn, reduces maintenance and hourly costs.

Taking into account the savings and the cost to lease the old building, the annual cost increase resulting from using the new facility is slightly less than half a million dollars per year.

While the municipality is not technically on the hook for any capital costs, it will be paying back about half of the $23 million it cost to build the facility through its annual operating leases.

"From the municipality's point of view, we don't pay any capital, we only pay operating costs, so to us it's like a lease," said Emma DalSanto, transportation demand management planner for the municipality.

"We see it as an operational cost for the year... It's not a capital cost on our books."

This half million increase was taken into account in the 2009-2010 municipal budget when the municipality's contribution to B.C. Transit increased by $1.4 million, for total municipal transit costs of $5.65 million.

Transit expenditures are funded by fare-box and pass revenues, general fund revenues and, beginning in 2010, the revenue from the newly implemented pay parking.

Bus service comes to Rainbow

There is now a temporary bus stop in Rainbow, allowing new residents safe access to the transit system.

The stop is located close to the entrance of the site at the intersection of the Valley Trail and Bear Paw Trail, just south of the stop sign at Crazy Canuck Drive. The bus stop was completed on Dec. 17.

"On behalf of council, thank you to everyone involved in getting this solution in place in time for Christmas," said Mayor Ken Melamed.

"Rainbow residents will have safe and convenient access to local transit."

A permanent bus turnaround is planned for the site once road construction is complete. That is anticipated in 2010.



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