Transit considers bus route changes
Plans to alter, shorten and eliminate some bus routes in Calgary's inner city have drawn complaints from some riders.
Calgary Transit is holding a series of public meetings on the changes this week. At a meeting Thursday night in West Hillhurst, dozens of regular bus riders questioned transit staff on the proposed changes.
Neil McKendrick, planning manager for Calgary Transit, said he is trying to balance the needs of his customers with a mandate from city council to cut 21,000 hours of service.
"We want to make sure that we're not cutting anybody off from service or we're not making it so it's more difficult for people to be making the trips they are making now."
The routes they are looking at are some of the least used in the city, he said.
"They are consuming a lot of money in terms of operating cost and we feel that by making a few minor changes to some of these routes that we can provide a better level of service."
Rider Joyce Slaney said she is concerned students and seniors will now have to walk further to catch a bus that will take longer to get them where they want to go.
"It's all in the name of cost cutting on the backs of inner city residents," she said.
Rider Diana Hilchey said she is ready to walk a little further to a stop. "We can't expect to have door to door service. The city has costs that they have to watch."
Another meeting will be held Tuesday night at the Vocational and Rehabilitation Research Institute (VRRI) in northwest Calgary. It runs from 4:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The final changes will be announced in March and implemented by the end of June.