Transit users looking to catch the 11 into Chilliwack won’t have to wait in the sun and rain anymore, after BC Transit approved grant funding for a bus shelter in front of Taj Indian Bistro on Pioneer Avenue. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Two new bus shelters, stop location change approved for Agassiz transit route

The shelters will be on Pioneer Avenue and Elm Road

The District of Kent will be getting two new bus shelters, thanks to grant funding from BC Transit.

In March of this year, the district sent out grant applications for four new bus shelters along Route 11. BC Transit approved funding for only two: one on the east side of Pioneer Avenue, in front of the Taj Indian Bistro, and another on Heath Road north of Morrow Road.

The new bus shelter on Pioneer will be located directly across from the existing westbound shelter, and look very similar to the westbound structure. The bench currently beside the bus stop was donated to the district, and staff say the donor is happy to have the bench moved somewhere else.

Although the Heath Road stop behind the Village Square strip mall was the other location approved by BC Transit, and is one of the busiest stops in Agassiz, that shelter likely won’t be able to be put in place.

SEE ALSO: Agassiz, Harrison provide input into future transit plan

According to director of finance Judy Lewis, speaking at the July 22 council meeting, staff worked with the property manager to try and get a right of way for the shelter. Although the manager said the property owner was supportive of having a shelter at the stop, they did not want to sign a right of way agreement.

“The landlord called and has clearly decided they’re not interested in an easement,” Lewis said. “For the property owner, BC Transit and us, it’s not possible without that.”

Because of this, the district is proposing that a bus shelter be installed westbound on Elm Road, adjacent to Schep Park. The shelter will encroach slightly on the park’s green space, but staff said the benefits of the shelter would outweigh the small loss of parkland.

The two bus shelters will cost just under $18,000 each. The district will be responsible for 20 per cent of the cost ($7,081 for both shelters) while BC Transit will fund the rest.

Although the district will be responsible for maintaining the shelters, including snow and garbage removal as well as replacing broken parts, they will be owned by BC Transit.

RELATED: New bus stops, on-call route, coming to Agassiz

In addition to the new bus shelters, council also discussed the move of one of the new bus stops in the Agassiz-Harrison Transit system.

At the same March meeting that council approved the bus shelter grant applications, council also gave the go ahead for nine new stops along Route 11. After council’s approval, staff approached the owners of properties near the proposed stops for feedback.

The property manager of Quarrystone, the townhouse development near a proposed stop on Morrow Road, said that he would feel more comfortable if the stop was moved to in front of the Tangleberry Lane development, located at 7543 Morrow Rd.

According to a comment sheet from property manager Nick Fraser, provided in the Kent council agenda, the proposed stop would “limit the parking for visitors” at Quarrystone, as “there is no visitor parking in Quarrystone (and) they need the parking on the street.”

After questions from council on July 22, Lewis clarified this statment saying that the development does have visitor parking, however, residents often use the public on-street parking for their vehicles.

Representatives from Tanglewood’s strata council did not respond to staff’s request for feedback, and council voted to move the proposed stop to 7543 Morrow Rd.

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