The Cowichan Lake area will see six bus shelters constructed in the next couple months.
These six shelters are part of a larger Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) project, which will see 26 shelters constructed before the end of March.
“Each community gets a proportionate number of shelters depending on their contribution to transit,” CVRD Transit manager Jim Wakeham said.
As such, the Youbou/Meade Creek area (CVRD area I), Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls area (CVRD area F), and Town of Lake Cowichan, will each receive two bus shelters.
The Town of Lake Cowichan opted for the metal bus shelter, while areas I and F both opted for the wooden shelters.
“We’re going to have a range of shelters,” Wakeham said, of the CVRD as a whole.
The location of these bus shelters took a great deal of consideration, Wakeham said. Consultant Ian Martin was hired to determine where people are most likely to wait for a bus.
The foundation for one of the Town of Lake Cowichan’s bus shelters has already been poured, and is located on South Shore Road, across the street from the Peters Centre.
After some deliberation with the town’s elected officials, Wakeham said that the second bus stop will likely be installed at the base of Darnell Road, at South Shore Road. A location across the street from the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena was also discussed, but the Darnell Road location was deemed better, and there are limited funds, Wakeham said.
The two new shelters in Area F have also had their foundations poured. One will be located at the end of Honeymoon Bay’s Central Park, while the other will be next to the Mesachie Lake Ballfield.
Area I will see the new bus shelters’ foundations poured some time this week, and will be located near the Youbou MiniMart and in Meade Creek, off of the Youbou Highway.
“We hope that we gain more funding, and can put more in,” Wakeham said.
The cost of the foundations to these shelters is between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the location and size. The shelters themselves cost between $3,000 and $10,000, with the metal structures drifting closer to the $10,000 mark.
“People will be able to sit on a bench, out of the rain, while they wait for a bus,” Wakeham said. “We hope this will encourage people to use the bus.”
Another encouraging piece of news is the fact that the CVRD has gone through the results of a survey they gathered from Cowichan Lake residents last year, and plan on changing their bus schedule in accordance to the ideas.
“I know that the services and the lake have had some issues,” Wakeham said.
The CVRD as a whole is expanding service by 2,000 bus hours, and the Cowichan Lake area is one of many areas to benefit.
Beginning March 28, there will be busses on both sides of the lake, which will connect with a bus from Lake Cowichan to Duncan. This, Wakeham said, will solve some problems Cowichan Lake area residents have been having with regard to their work commute to Duncan.
This, Wakeham said, is the number one concern brought forth by survey participants.
“The connections are going to work,” Wakeham said.
For now, Wakeham said that the new bus shelters will begin to come up in the next few weeks. All shelters will be complete by the end of March, at the same time the new scheduling will take effect.