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New route and new bus for Belleville Transit

By Ashliegh Gehl

Belleville, On. (09/23/11) Peter Hodgson, manager of transit services, stands before the fleets newest addition. The bus will be servicing route #9. A new route set to launch Oct. 3. Photo by Ashliegh Gehl.

Belleville Transit plans to expand its services Monday by adding a new route and a new accessible bus.

On Oct. 3, Route #9 will service the new VIA Rail station currently under construction and the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre.

Peter Hodgson, manager of transit services, said #9 doesn’t have its own parking spot like the other busses.

“It’s just going to have squeeze in where it can,” he said.

The new route comes with a brand new $480,000 bus. Hodgson said the new bus has a minimum lifespan of 12-years. This is the sixth bus Transit has added to fleet in the last three years.

A new route means additional costs.

“It depends,” said Hodgson. “The hours of service for this one costs us. We’ve had to hire two drivers. That’s part of the expense.”

Route #9 is scheduled to run every 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends with slightly less service on the weekends.

By servicing the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre, transit is looking to pick up new passengers.

“We’re hoping to,” he said. “There’s a pool up there, ice pads. They’ll be running swimming lessons. I think there’s all sorts of fitness classes and a senior drop in, I believe.”

Hodgson said it’s also the first time a bus will directly service the new VIA Rail station.

“There are some other factors,” said Hodgson. “The new VIA Rail station is being built and we have not had a bus that goes very close to that station so with the new route we’re right there at the station.”