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New service provider awarded West Kootenay public transit contract

BC Transit announced Tuesday that PWTransit Canada takes over the service April 1
NextGen Transit, formerly Trail Transit, has been in continuous operation since 1982. The company employs around 100 people.

After 42 years of operating the local public transit bus lines, NextGen Transit — formerly known as Trail Transit — has lost the West Kootenay service contract.

The last day of NextGen Transit services in the West Kootenay is March 31.

BC Transit announced Tuesday afternoon that PWTransit Canada was awarded the new contract effective April 1.

The base contract is for five years with allowable extensions to nine years.

“PWTransit Canada was awarded the contract through BC Transit’s standard procurement process,” BC Transit stated Jan. 18. “The contract includes conventional and paratransit service in the West Kootenay Region, which serves several communities including Trail, Castlegar and the Boundary Transit System (Grand Forks).”

BC Transit says transit service in the West Kootenay will not be impacted by this change in operating companies, and all existing routes and service levels will remain in place.

The Old Waneta Road facility that houses operations and the bus fleet in the outskirts of Trail, is leased by BC Transit. Its use is licensed to NextGen.

On April 1, this will transition to PWTransit Canada for operational use, customer service and maintenance of BC Transit buses.

According to the press release, NextGen Transit employees will continue to operate service until the last day of March.

BC Transit also stated, “all unionized NextGen Transit employees currently working in public transit will be offered comparable roles with PWTransit Canada.”

NextGen Transit will continue to operate services identified as the East Kootenay Region which includes the communities of Cranbrook, Kimberley, Creston, Elk Valley region (Fernie and Sparwood) and Invermere.

BC Transit said it is in discussions with the City of Nelson on assuming the Kootenay Lake West paratransit services which was not included in the newly awarded West Kootenay contract.

NextGen Transit been in continuous operation since 1982 and says it has expanded operations over the years to encompass more than 76,000 annual operating hours and 100 employees.

According to PWTransit Canada’s website, “PWTransit Canada is part of the Pacific Western Group of Companies, a privately held, 100 per cent Canadian-owned corporation with over 5,400 employees across Canada.”

Read more: NextGen awarded contract for service in Kootenay Lake West

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Sheri Regnier

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