The Village has received $30K in grants funds for a transportation study. The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) and the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) are each providing a grant of $15K. The Village is committed to providing the remaining $5K for a total of $35K.
Utilizing SpareLabs innovative transit software app, the Salmo Community Owned and Operated Bus Initiative (SCOOBI) is a proposed micro-transit system that will connect Salmo and surrounding Area G residents to the nearby cities and villages along Highways 3 and 6. Rather than congregating at a bus stop, using the app, riders will be able to pre-book transit pick-up and drop-off within set timeframes and routes, similar to calling for an Uber. Area G residents will likely pick-up at pre-determined bus stops on the routes.
The innovative SCOOBI system has the potential to transform how people reach and engage the resources and opportunities within these communities. Currently, all RDCK population centres depend heavily on Single-Occupancy-Vehicle (SOV) trips (averaging 2,300+ riders daily in January and 5,700 in July 2018). SCOOBI is expected to decrease SOV trips.
Conducted via an online survey, in-person interviews and industry research, the study will provide solid information on whether or not daily bus service is wanted, how it would be used and the reasons for using it, i.e. transportation to and from school or work. Should the survey and research indicate interest in the service is sufficient and recommend a pilot study, additional funding will be sought for the pilot project.
The village will be seeking bids from consultants experienced in transportation research and study. An RFP for the consulting services is expected to be posted by the end of next. It is expected that everyone in Salmo will have an opportunity to complete the survey which will likely be conducted in October.
Mayor and Council are very grateful to ETSI and the CBT for funding this important study.