The two community shuttle routes in the Heights are not changing, according to a press release from TransLink, though shuttle service in the area will only run every hour during off-peak hours.
Seton Villa resident Ross Campbell was glad to hear the news, as he and other residents of the seniors' highrise use the shuttle to get to Hastings Street.
"It's a victory," he said in a phone interview with the NOW on Monday. "It's exactly what we proposed."
TransLink met with Campbell and other stakeholders in the neighbourhood recently, after conducting a public consultation on the project earlier in the winter.
TransLink was considering changing and combining the C1 and C2 shuttle routes, to be serviced by one shuttle instead of two, extending service along Hastings Street east to Kensington Square. Weekday service along the new route would decrease from every 30 minutes to every hour.
The change would have affected Seton Villa residents' access to businesses in the Heights, as well as employees' ability to get to work.
"I think it's a win-win," Campbell said of TransLink's decision, adding he was especially happy with the reception he had from TransLink employees Marisa Espinosa, senior manager for planning, and Kate Grossman, community relations coordinator.
"I do have to praise and thank them," he said, adding they listened to people in the community.
Campbell said he was also grateful to Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who met with the residents of Seton Villa last month.
Isabel Kolic, executive director for the Heights Merchants Association, said she was also glad to hear about the decision.
"We're certainly relieved that we're going to keep our old route," she said.
She said she was curious about what the schedule might be, and what would be considered off-peak hours, but added, "I think it's a compromise we can live with and work with."
Kolic also said she hoped the usage of the shuttles would increase, so that TransLink wouldn't have to consider curbing service in the area again.
The fight to keep the shuttles was a neighbourhood effort, with the association, Seton Villa staff and residents, and families with students at Alpha Secondary School all speaking out.
In addition to Stewart, Burnaby North Liberal MLA Richard Lee recently spoke to the NOW about the issue, and also sent a letter to TransLink.
Lee noted in his letter that the route changes would make it more difficult for Heights shoppers to get around.
"Any change to the service would hurt local families and businesses," he wrote.
Lee also made a statement about the importance of community shuttles in the legislature last week.
Many of the stakeholder groups in the neighbourhood met with representatives from TransLink as well, to give their feedback on the proposal.
TransLink will likely make a decision on the schedule for the two shuttles in the fall as changes will not be implemented until late in the year, according to Derek Zabel, spokesperson for TransLink.
The company is attempting to cut costs by revising more than 30 routes throughout the region.
Espinosa previously told the NOW that the proposed changes for the Heights shuttles were intended to accommodate more people in the area and address current low levels of ridership, as well as decrease costs.
Route C1 travels between the Kootenay Loop and the intersection of Hastings Street and Gilmore Avenue, and route C2 travels between the Capitol Hill area to the intersection of Hastings Street and Gilmore Avenue.