An agreement has been reached to keep Metrobus rolling into the Village Shopping Centre.
However, the location where the buses stop may change from its current location.
In March, Plazacorp Retail Properties Ltd. — the company which owns the Village Shopping Centre — told Metrobus it had until Aug. 22 to find a new home for its west end transfer hub.
One of the reasons it gave, beyond a lack of parking, was that vandalism and theft were reduced during a 12-week bus strike which ended in late January.
That sparked at least one protest and a number of letters which urged Metrobus riders to boycott the mall.
But at Monday’s regular St. John’s city council meeting, Coun. Tom Hann said an agreement has now been reached to keep the bus stop at the Village.
“We will not be leaving the Village. We may be in some other spot on the parking lot, but we have come to a solution,” said Hann, the chairman of the city’s transportation commission.
Hann said the details have still to be worked out.
Metrobus general manager Judy Powell spoke with The Telegram after the council meeting.
She said it is a relief not to have to find a new place for bus riders to transfer from route to route in the city’s west end.
“It’s certainly a difficult area to find another site that can accommodate up to 10 buses at any one time,” said Powell. “The Village mall recognized the difficulty we were having and we had a meeting and they were certainly willing to work with us to find an alternate location on their site.”
Powell said until a new location for the transfer point is picked, buses will continue to use the area in front of the mall.
Metrobus will try an identify another site it can use in the parking lot and will meet with representatives from the Village again in the near future.
Powell said it’s important both sides agree on the new site.
Ward 3 Coun. Bruce Tilley told council he’s received a number of calls about the issue in recent months and he knows many in his area of the city will be pleased by the news.