Merritt’s city council has unanimously passed an agreement that will bring on-request transit service to the Cook’s Ferry Antko 21 reserve near Fox Farm and Coldwater roads. 

The new agreement added Antko 21, a 14 hectare Cook’s Ferry Band reserve area adjacent to the south-east corner of Merritt on Fox Farm Road, to the list of locations where BC Transit bus users can request pick up by the transit system’s on-request bus. The on-request service runs weekdays, offering a shared transit option with more drop-off possibilities than the busses running on set routes and schedules in the city and surrounding areas. 

At its June 13 regular meeting, council voted unanimously to pass the agreement, with the exception of Councillor Dana Egan, who was not present at the meeting. 

“This agreement would service that area on an as-needed basis, and we are proposing a $500 annual fee for the first year, which would be reviewed at the end of the first term,” said Norm Thompson, the city’s acting director of finance and IT to council. “Riders would pay the transit fee on a per ride basis, as with all transit passengers.”

The agreement between the city, Cook’s Ferry, and BC Transit will see Cook’s Ferry pay $500 per annum to the city for the new service, along with the city keeping all fares paid by riders requesting pick up at Antko 21. The Herald has reached out Cook’s Ferry for comment on the benefit of the new service and the number of individuals and families that could access it. 

A representative of the Merritt Transit System confirmed to the Herald that service to Antko 21 is now active, although they have received no calls for pick-ups as of Monday (June 19). The service is available Monday to Friday, with trips operating at 8:45 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 2:45 p.m. Cash fare for the service is $2.00. 

For more information on the new service, call the Merritt Transit Office at 250-378-4080, or visit their website at www.bctransit.com/merritt.