Merrittonians will now be able to hop on and off the bus in a number of new locations, including a new option for seniors to reach out of town medical appointments. Two new regular service bus stops will adorn Houston Street and Midday Valley Road, in addition to a Health Connections stop at a local seniors complex.
The stops on Houston and Midday Valley will become permanent stops after initially being introduced as a temporary route diversion after the November 2021 flooding event. The Voght Street bridge has not been replaced, meaning BC Transit will change its route with no estimate on when the bridge will be back in service. An additional new stop at Nicola Meadows, a seniors residence on Garcia Street, will allow seniors to access BC Transit and Interior Health’s joint Health Connections program.
“BC Transit is happy that we could partner with the City of Merritt to add a new Health Connections stop at the Nicola Meadows Senior Residence,” said Jamie Weiss, senior media relations and public affairs advisor with BC Transit.
“Health Connections provides customers in Merritt and other communities with accessible transportation options to non-emergency medical appointments, and we will continue to work with the City of Merritt and Interior Health to provide this valuable service for people who need it.”
The Health Connections program offers transportation to non-emergency medical appointments in nearby communities. The service currently leaves from the Merritt Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, to Kamloops and Kelowna, respectively. Soon, Nicola Meadows residents will be able to leave right from their own front door. While those with medical appointments have priority, anyone is eligible to use the Health Connections service given that there is extra space aboard.
The Health Connections stop, along with the new stops as part of BC Transit’s regular Merritt service, will be temporarily marked with flags beginning January 3, 2023. Permanent bus stops and possible shelters are in the works, but no timeline is available for the completion of these projects. The new stops will serve route 23, which goes from Collettville to Diamondvale on an hourly basis.
“The other new bus stops will be located near Barkman Concrete and the Merritt Green Energy Plant. One stop will be located on Houston Street at Midday Valley Road. The second stop will be located on Midday Valley Road at Houston,” said a release by BC Transit.
For more information on the Health Connections program, along with local routes and schedules, visit www.bctransit.com/merritt.