Ashcroft Council received a letter at the Jan. 28 Council meeting from the Village of Cache Creek, confirming that it would not be renewing the BC Transit contract it has with Ashcroft and Clinton after the current contract expires on March 31.
“I’m disappointed that the partership isn’t going to continue,” said Coun. Jackie Tegart. “I think Ashcroft and Clinton and BCTransit have worked very hard to find an affordable solution.”
“We’re still exploring,” she said.
Cache Creek Council has never been entirely comfortable with the bus service since it began in 2008, but rapidly rising costs last year made them look seriously at pulling out of the agreement between Ashcroft, Clinton and Cache Creek.
Cache Creek Mayor John Ranta says he hasn’t had any indication that Cache Creek residents are upset about the loss of the bus.
“In all honesty,” he said after the decision was made earlier this year, “I’ve had one phone call from a concerned citizen.”
He said he didn’t know how much the bus was used in Cache Creek because ridership statistics are rarely sent.
“A regular scheduled service between Ashcroft and Clinton doesn’t appear to fulfill a need for the people of Cache Creek, he said, suggesting that something like a wheelchair-accessible Sunshine coach that would respond to individual calls from seniors might be a better option.
Ranta stated in the letter to Ashcroft Council, dated Jan. 15, “We sincerely appreciate and wish to recognize the tireless efforts of everyone involved in managing the system over the past many years, and, more recently, in negotiating the substantial adjustments to the system with a view to making it work for everyone.”
He said: “We share your disappointment that the scheduled service has not been embranced by more of our consituents, but, based on our perception of local ridership; the Cache Creek Council reaffirmed the decision to withdraw from the service.”
Cache Creek Council unanimously agreed to pay the final quarterly payment that ends on March 31, 2013.