The City of Thompson’s new, smaller buses are now providing providing transit services.
Purchased with federal and provincial government support through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, the Arboc Spirit of Mobility buses were build by Crestline Coach Ltd. and are less than 30 feet long, with space for 20 passengers, additional standing room passengers if necessary and can accommodate wheelchairs.
They cost about $400,000 plus taxes and are equipped with a GPS system that will help the city assess the efficiency of existing transit routes and eventually enable bus riders to track them buses around the city in real time
“The arrival of these new buses will enhance transit service and encourage Thompson residents to choose a greener and more efficient way to commute,” said federal Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal in a May 7 news release, while provincial Central Services Minister Reg Helwer said Manitoba was pleased to support public transit in Thompson by helping pay for the new buses.
“Improvements to our transit system have been a long time coming,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “Public transit that works well is an important part of an accessible and inclusive city.”
The city plans to review the current bus routes and make changes to improve cost-efficiency and improve transit access for mobility-impaired passengers. It will work with Maple Bus Lines, which operates the city transit system, to tweak revisions that were put in place at the beginning of 2020, then rolled back due to residents’ concerns and logistical issues with the route.