Council sets rates for ski bus service

The District of Kitimat is set to offer a Saturday shuttle to Shames Mountain and Onion Lake Ski Trails.

At $10 for youth and $15 for adults, Kitimat has set the rates for a Saturday bus service to Shames Mountain and eventually Onion Lake Ski Trails.

In June last year council, from a motion from Phil Germuth, opted to go ahead with a shuttle service to the ski facilities, which would be put in effect in place of an annual grant usually given to Shames Mountain of $15,000.

That money will now be used for the shuttle, which comes at a per-trip cost of $1,837.50, including chaperons, which the Director of Leisure Services Martin Gould said is a requirement of the bus company for renting out their vehicles.

The buses that will be used will have a capacity of 48 people.

People must pre-register for the service and Gould said they would need 10 people signed up before the trip would happen.

If the 48-person bus was filled with adult fares, the town would only receive $675.

Staff had recommended a $25 youth and $40 adult fare system to maximize the revenue.

Mary Murphy moved for the lower fares, which were pitched in an earlier discussion of the program from council.

Larry  Walker opposed the plan, saying that at the proposed expense he didn’t believe the service was a good use of the town funds.

Mario Feldhoff said that in the context of all of the town’s recreation programs it’s really not that much money.

“We subsidize all kinds of things,” he said, saying that if the town gets 30 cents on the dollar for the program, “we’re doing good.”

Claire Rattée proposed an incentive program to get more people using the service, such as a discout for a bulk-purchase of trip passes.

Gould said that could be a possibility for the program, but did lean towards starting the program as planned to get it going before incorporating any incentives.

On the issue of liability, Gould said any persons under 13-years-old would require an adult with them, which the three chaperones per trip would cover those 13 to 18.