Residents of Cache Creek now have more options and flexibility when it comes to using the local transit service operating between Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton.
Beginning the week of Aug. 3, the bus will have a longer stopover in Cache Creek when it runs between Ashcroft and Clinton every Wednesday and Friday. Instead of stopping at only one one spot — the designated bus stop at the Cache Creek Community Hall — for pick-ups and drop-offs, the bus will be able to go door-to-door in the community, picking people up and dropping them off at their homes, making the system easier to use for those who have difficulty getting to and from the community hall.
The bus offers door-to-door service for an hour every Wednesday and Friday in Clinton and for 90 minutes in Ashcroft, allowing passengers to get to and from local shops and services. The stops in Cache Creek will be shorter, and are designed for people with mobility or cognitive limitations. Cache Creek councillor Wendy Coomber, who sits on the local Para-Transit Committee, says that this is a step on the way to getting more service.
“If we could fit within the existing schedule it wouldn’t cost us more money,” she explains. “If we had to add more time and effort to the schedule they would have to charge us accordingly.”
She says that the ability to pick people up and drop them off at their homes was something people told her they wanted to see as part of the bus service.
“People hoped for more than one bus stop, but this more or less takes care of that. Some people who have mobility issues want to take the bus but can’t make it to the bus stop at the community hall, and we’re hoping this will accommodate them. The times are where they could fit us in, so let’s see who uses it and what the feedback is. Is it good enough, or do people need more, or is it a service that’s not going to be used? We’ll have to wait and see. This is all a big experiment.”
She stresses that this service is to get people to and from the bus. It is offered on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:15 to 9:20 a.m. on the way from Ashcroft to Clinton; from 11 to 11:15 a.m. on the way from Clinton to Ashcroft; and from 3:30 to 3:40 p.m. on the return to Clinton.
Coomber says that the Cache Creek bus service, which started in July 2019, was doing well until March. “It was a new service that was just starting to grow, but it got hacked off at the roots because of COVID-19. I’m not sure when we’ll see it pick up again, but the bus is still running and people can still use it.”
She notes that the service to Kamloops on Mondays is not hugely subscribed from Cache Creek, but that it’s available for people who need it.
“That’s what we want to see. It’s a great, convenient service and we’d like to see ridership up, but it’s up to people if they feel they need it. If the times aren’t convenient people can give us feedback at the Village office, and we’d like to hear positive feedback as well.”
The bus stop in Cache Creek is on the lower level of the community hall parking lot, near the visitor centre. Anyone who would like pick-up service at their door needs to book at least one day in advance by calling 1-855-359-3935. Bus schedules can be picked up at the Cache Creek Village office, the Cache Creek market, the Ashcroft Village office, and other locations.