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REPORTING · 17th May 2013
Walter McFarlane
It would seem the Airport Subsidy issued last December was a success. On Monday, May 13th, Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to continue the Airport Shuttle Service from the 15th of May until November 1st and have staff monitor the usage and bring back options to continue the program into the winter of 2013-2014.

“I think this is a need. It wasn’t really used to much but that is because of the novelty I hope. If we offer it again over a good weather season and prepare for the bad weather season at the end of the year, I think we’ll see if the community really will make use of a service like this,” said Goffinet.

He stated what Council budgeted was only ‘minutely’ used. He estimated 90% of the money was still useable so the budget through to November was there.

In a memo to Council, Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen wrote: “The Districts program, which provided subsided travel between the airport and Kitimat for eligible users, recently completed the initial trial. The program operated from December 17th, 2012 until April 15th, 2013.”

The memo expressed there were 59 passengers, 32 of whom shared a cab and 27 went by themselves. There were also three trips on a minibus with a total of 6 passengers.

Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted to know how many riders, who used the program broke down. He was told they had the number of riders. They wanted to make sure seniors and person’s with disabilities had a way to get to the airport. Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen told Council he had received many phone calls from people who appreciate the service being there, although they do not use it.

“It’s not getting a lot of usage but usage that it’s getting are by people who are really needing the service. You are hitting what you are trying to do,” said Waycheshen.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff agreed. Council has been received good feedback from this. He expressed they have spent $2450, much less than the $4000 a month they budgeted and they have met the need of the key user groups. There was support for continuing this service.

The motion was called and carried.