A new location for a bus layover in White Rock is already meeting with complaints from residents.
The new site, adjacent to commercial buildings on the north side of Thrift Avenue west of Johnston Road, has been in effect since the weekend, after residents protested a temporary Foster Street location.
But Rob Thompson, White Rock’s director of engineering, said Wednesday the city is already receiving some negative feedback.
“People are concerned about the amount of bus traffic on Thrift,” he said, which he acknowledged amounts to some 100 buses a day, with the 321 and 345 routes added to the 351, which already travels along Thrift and Oxford.
He noted, however, that Thrift is designated as a primary collector road and that the new layover is the site of an existing bus stop – and is where the 351 bus used to layover regularly, up until a year ago.
While sympathetic to residents’ concerns, he said having a bus layover has to be recognized as part of the price of living in a city that needs and desires transit service.
“It’s the reality of living in a city that is at the end of bus routes.”
Relocating the layover became a contentious issue over the summer, after the North Bluff Road site was permanently closed and buses were moved to Foster Street. The move prompted residents to complain of noise and air pollution, while merchants complained lost parking was impacting their businesses.
Late last month, Thompson promised the Foster Street site would close Sept. 12.
Adding to headaches, Thompson said, are reports that buses continue to drive down Foster and other side streets since the new layover was established.
Thompson said part of the problem is that Coast Mountain Bus Company has some 3,600 drivers on its roster, which may have led to delays getting the word out.
“With vacations they do have to schedule people who are not always familiar with the routes,” he said.