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Transit exchange will be moving at Powell River Town Centre mall

Addition of a new anchor tenant necessitates relocation of bus stop
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AGREEMENT REACHED: The bus exchange at the north end of Town Centre mall will be moving as a result of the mall landing a new anchor tenant at the bus exchange location. The new west side location will be developed by the mall owner and won’t add any appreciable time to the access and egress to the exchange.

City of Powell River’s transit bus exchange will be moving its location at the Powell River Town Centre mall.

At the October 17 committee of the whole meeting, BC Transit senior manager of government relations Rob Ringma outlined steps that have been taken to ensure continued efficient operation of city buses at the Town Centre mall exchange. With the landing of a new anchor tenant at the north end of the mall, adjacent to the BC liquor store, the current bus exchange will no longer be available.

Ringma said in the committee’s agenda package, councillors had correspondence he had written on August 14 to ensure staff and everyone involved could understand the impact that moving the bus exchange could have on the overall transit system.

“The initial proposed location of the Town Centre mall transit exchange will require a rerouting of our entry and exit from the mall, which would have translated to additional time the buses would spend en route to accessing and leaving the mall,” said Ringma. “The challenge with that is the Town Centre mall transit exchange is our exchange within the city and every one of our transit routes travels through that exchange.”

Ringma said the initial proposed route associated with moving the exchange down toward the west end mall entrance would add time to every single route. He said since the original proposal came out, there have been several productive meetings with the mall owner and city staff, and he was happy to report that an agreement has been reached that he feels will work for all parties.

Ringma said he had written an additional letter on September 20 that provided updates for council, and in that proposal, it outlines a new proposed transit exchange that would be similar to the current bus circulation at the mall, with an entrance and exit on Alberni Street, and with a newly built transit exchange island, proposed to be at the west side of the mall.

“The mall owner has also graciously agreed to increase the number of bus bays from three to four, which will help to accommodate future transit expansion,” said Ringma. “We feel the mall developer, BC Transit and city staff have come to a good solution that will work for all parties. It won’t negatively impact the transit system.”

Councillor Earl Almeida asked about the liquor store loading area and whether vehicles offloading would get in the way of transit buses travelling from the bus exchange.

Director of planning services Jason Gow said this was something staff had identified and has been addressed.

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