Saturday April 19, 2014

Second Kamloops run added to Clearwater bus route

North Thompson residents will enjoy a second weekly round bus trip from Blue River through Clearwater to Kamloops starting in the new year.

B.C. Transit spokeswoman Meribeth Burton said a bus has left from Blue River on Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. since 2007.

As of Jan. 7, a second run will make the trek every Tuesday, she said.

"If you wanted to take it now, you'd have to book it in advance. It's one round trip on Thursdays," Burton said Monday. "The new run will be the exact same schedule, but it will be Tuesdays."

Rider demand prompted the decision, she said. The route began as a health-connection service from the North Thompson to Kamloops, but there was enough interest to open the bus to general commuters.

"I think it's good news for the community," Burton said of the added route. "It means people are using it and now there are extra options."

Clearwater Mayor John Harwood said the extra bus each week is great for North Thompson residents.

More than a thousand people a year use the Thursday bus, so the demand is there, he said. A second run fills a void left when Greyhound cut runs through the North Thompson.

"It works out really good for us," said Harwood.

He said people who need to go to Kamloops for an appointment will have more options available to them.

"It allows people to live in a rural community who, if you didn't have that service, would have to move," said Harwood.

The trip costs $5 each way. After leaving Blue River, the bus goes through Clearwater at 8:40 a.m. and passengers arrive at Aberdeen Mall at 10:50. The bus starts the return trip to the North Thompson at 2:45 p.m., passengers are dropped off in Clearwater at 4:45 p.m. and reach Blue River at 6:15 p.m.

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