01/03/2013 07:51 EST | Updated 03/05/2013 05:12 EST

Drunk Teens Surround Free New Year's Eve Bus In West Kootenay

BC Transit

TRAIL, B.C. - The third nasty incident in three years has B.C. Transit reviewing its program of Free New Year's Eve bus service around Trail, B.C.

Meribeth Burton spokeswoman for B.C. Transit said approximately 200 drunk and rowdy youth surrounded the 1 a.m. free ride in Rossland on New Year's Day, which prompted a call for RCMP escorts and a review of the service in general.

"In the last three years, there have been problems with intoxicated youth, on our buses (in Greater Trail)," she explained.

"It's a problem and something we are taking a very hard look at."

According to Burton, the large group of intoxicated youth surrounded the bus and starting banging on it, accompanied by other, "general bad behaviour."

Sergeant Robert Hawton of the Trail RCMP detachment said police responded but the group had dispersed. No charges were laid.

Burton said that driver safety was addressed a few years ago, with the hiring of a private security guard for each driver on every bus.

"This year, the operator and the security detail felt they had to leave the area for safety reasons.

"However, for example, Victoria offered exactly the same service, and we had not one complaint."

Approximately 400 revellers in Greater Trail boarded the New Year's Eve ride, and 65 riders in Castlegar took advantage of the free program.

B.C. Transit operated free extended hours in 132 communities with 15 to 20 of those communities offering free and extended service.

"It's a small minority that who may end up spoiling this tremendous service for everyone else," said Burton. (Trail Times)

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