A Yellowknife transit bus on Franklin Avenue. Emelie Peacock/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife is proposing a new direct YK Connector bus route which will connect one end of the city to the other, eliminating the need to change buses downtown to get from north to south.
The YK Connector route is one of three new bus routes the city is proposing to replace its three current routes.
YK Transit Realign, as the city is calling the project, follows a public transit review that devised new routes that are direct, frequent, and easy to use. The city is now seeking feedback until the end of the month on the proposed changes, with a goal to start the new routes in the fall of 2023.
The new routes will “create the foundation for further transit improvements,” the city said in a news release.
Yellowknife currently has three bus routes: the Borden/Downtown loop, the Frame Lake/Northlands loop, and the Old Town/Niven loop. The proposed new routes will eliminate some of the redundancies in the current routes and streamline services to different areas of the city.
“YK Connector will become the system’s new spine, providing a strong connection between the north and south ends of the city while also serving the highest ridership destination,” explained the city on its website. YK Connector will also provide 30-minute service during peak times, such as weekday mornings and afternoons.
The YK Connector Route also includes select trips to the Kam Lake and Grace Lake neighbourhoods.
The second new route is called Borden/Forrest, and will connect the Forrest area, hospital, Walmart, and Borden areas to downtown and schools, as well as to the YK Connector.
Niven Loop, the third new route, will connect the Niven neighbourhood to high schools and the museum every 30 to 60 minutes. The Niven and Borden/Forrest routes will connect by the high schools.
The schedules are relatively similar to the current schedules – buses will run Monday to Saturday from approximately 7:30am until 7:30pm.
There are no plans to add service on Sundays, or to add a route to the airport.
As part of the transit realign, the city also said it plans to enhance safety and accessibility by increasing the visibility of transit, improving bus stops, and prioritizing snow removal at bus stops.
Residents can provide feedback on the proposed maps and schedules online or at an open house on November 17 from 11am – 1pm at YK Centre across from Ragged Ass Barbers.
Everyone who provides feedback will be entered to win a free one-year bus pass.