If approved, an extra bus would be purchased to greatly increase the number of trips being made between the two cities.
The City of Kimberley's Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock told council Monday night that ridership in the community has been great.
The Kimberley-Cranbrook commuter service launched back in September 2017 and has been offering one trip to the Key City Monday morning and afternoon, as well as four each day Tuesday-to-Friday.
He says they average around 20 riders each service day.
Given the success of the service, Council voted this week to approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase the number of trips being offered.
"It's basically an indication that council and the community are committed to seeing that expanded. There's lots of work to do in the coming year to make that happen."
There are two parts to the expansion - one would add another three trips on Mondays to match the current level of service for the rest of the work week, while the other would add a morning and evening trip Monday to Friday.
The second part will require the purchase of another bus, which will likely be in line with the 20-seat configuration that the City's other buses offer. The two expansions will cost around $41,000 annually.
Pollock says this will be important in Kimberley's ongoing growth.
"I think too with our population growth we've seen in the last number of years, there's more and more demand for that kind of service, and whether it's back and forth to Cranbrook for work or health appointments or what have you, but even around town, our winter shuttle service has been seeing really good ridership over the last couple of years as well."
Although Kimberley solely pays for the Kimberley-Cranbrook bus service right now, Mayor Don McCormick says he will speak with the City of Cranbrook about working out some kind of cost-sharing agreement.
With the MOU now signed, council will send off their application to BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation for provincial approval.
Assuming Kimberley gets the thumbs up, the expanded service would likely launch in September 2019.
- David Opinko
Audio: Troy Pollock, Manager of Planning Services, City of Kimberley