Passengers will get an extra 15 minutes breathing room to make their bus transfer within the Nanaimo Regional Transit system.
The transit operator has brought in two major changes in time for the return of school and the end of the summer holiday season.
In response to concerns from passengers and confusion around how transfers work, Regional Transit decided to extend the time a bus transfer system remains valid to an hour and 15 minutes, from an hour.
As well, Regional Transit has added another bus per day on the No. 90 route between Nanaimo and Parksville, and Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
While Regional Transit gave riders more time to transfer to their next bus, its drivers have been instructed to more strictly follow the rules around when and how the paper transfers are issued.
Effective immediately, drivers will be expected to use a handheld whole punch to indicate the bus route number the transfer is good for, and tear off the ticket on the line indicating its expiry time.
"There was some confusion among customers and some drivers," said Daniel Pearce, transit operations manager.
"We had requests from a lot of riders that if there was just a few more minutes add, it would be easier to connect to the next bus."
Regional Transit decided to comply with the request, but the tickets are "still one-directional," he said.
To enforce that, bus drivers are being told to properly tear and hole punch the tickets.
The change takes effect today and is spelled out in September transit guides. Several minor route changes will improve convenience for riders.
For northbound afternoon commuters, a bus was added on the No. 9 North route.
The new bus leaves the Prideaux downtown exchange at 4:45 p.m. and arrives at Woodgrove Centre at 5:12 p.m. to connect to the No. 90-Intercity Connector scheduled to depart at 5:15 p.m.
An additional No. 90 bus daily has also been added in the late afternoon.
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