After four years in waiting, Vernon is finally on board with a safer bus stop and exchange at a popular destination.
BC Transit, the City of Vernon and the Village Green Centre officially opened the new transit exchange at the mall Monday, Dec. 23.
“If it takes a few years to get it absolutely right then that’s great,” said Vernon Mayor Victor Cumming. “Safety is paramount.”
The mall bus exchange was shut down due to safety concerns in 2016 and the bus stop was moved to 48th Avenue. The move upset many seniors and residents in the area.
“I’m sure there’s lots who are using it now who are happy to move back from 48th where they are using it now,” said Cumming.
Scott Adam, Village Green Mall general manager, is happy with the end result.
“It was in the planning stage for the better part of four years,” said Adam. “We thank the riders for their patience.”
Chris Fudge, BC Transit’s senior manager of government relations, is pleased to see the exchange back in service during a busy time of year at the mall.
“The Village Green Centre is a key transfer point in the Vernon Regional Transit System, so we’re excited that the residents of can enjoy the convenience of this bus stop once again,” said Fudge.
The new exchange is also expected to increase ridership with Route 9 the new high frequency route serving the mall, which is now in service.
“The Vernon transit system has experienced steady growth in the recent years and now delivers over half a million annual rides,” said Fudge.
The exchange also isn’t the last change on board for local transit.
Within the next year technology upgrades are coming on board where riders can track their buses in real time, buses are phasing out traditional fare collection systems and introducing new electronic fare collection and an advanced GHG reducing fleet is on track.