Bus stop removal irks Barracks residents

The removal of a bus stop outside of the Barracks Apartments on Range Road has some concerned about how people with difficulty walking will access public transit.

The removal of a bus stop outside of the Barracks Apartments on Range Road has some concerned about how people with difficulty walking will access public transit.

The next stop, at a federal government building, is about 300 metres away.

There was a stop outside of the Barracks for many years. It was moved when the bus routes changed in July 2011. A new stop was placed across the street from the apartments, coming from the other direction, but it was removed last fall, said Kathy Poho, who has worked as a manager at the Barracks for over a decade.

She worries about residents who have trouble walking to the stop at the federal government building up the street.

“A lot of my tenants have been complaining to me,” she said.

It can be a “real hardship” for some of them, said Poho. She is especially concerned about what people will do once winter comes, she said.

Many people who live in the Barracks have lower incomes, she said. Its location close to a bus stop was one of the building’s selling points. The change may influence their ability to rent space, she said.

Poho has told the city her concerns.

Moving the stop is “a terrible move for them to make,” she said.

Poho herself uses a cane to help her walk. Before the stop moved, she used public transit occasionally. Now, she doesn’t take it at all.

She was not aware the stop was being moved until the change happened, she said.

Transit routes changed on July 1 of last year. Before, buses ran on a hub-and-spoke system, in which all buses would stop and go from one location. This meant riders had to transfer more often. Now, buses run on a loop system, in which routes connect different neighbourhoods.

Ridership has increased by 16 per cent, and transfers have decreased by 50 per cent.

The bus stop in front of the Barracks was moved as part of the change, said David Muir, manager of public works. Muir was transit manager when the changes were approved. The old route ran south down Range Road. The new route, Route Five-Takhini-Yukon College, runs north.

Several public consultations were held before changes were made, and no concerns about this stop were raised, said Muir. He had not heard of any complaints until recently, he said. Most feedback has been positive.

Stops are placed to serve the largest number of people, said Muir. They are located within two blocks of each other.

Drivers will stop at undesignated stops if riders request it, said Muir. There are no plans for one to be put back at the Barracks. People are welcome to make a formal request for a stop, he said.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com

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