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.”