A B.C. Transit bus makes its way along Sooke Road.

Politicians renew calls for an expansion of B.C. Transit service in Sooke area and West Shore

Victoria Regional Transit System will consider a staff report on expansion funding for improvements at its June 21 meeting.

  • Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 8:00pm
  • News

The District of Sooke and Sooke School District are renewing calls for an expansion of B.C. Transit service in the Greater Sooke Area and West Shore.

They may not have to wait long.

The Victoria Regional Transit System will consider a staff report on expansion funding for improvements for both Sooke and the West Shore at its June 21 meeting.

Sooke is one of the fastest growing regions in the province.

The school district predicts it will grow by more than 300 students annually (three to four per cent) over the next 10 years. The current school population is 9,800.

“There are a number of ways that our students and staff get to and from school, but, the use of B.C. Transit and our district school bus system lead the way,” said Bob Phillips, board of education chair.

Last summer, officials from B.C. Transit officials, in a presentation to Sooke council, said improvements in bus service are likely over the next few years.

Recently, the school district wrote Sooke transit commission chair Susan Brice asking for an expansion of services and asked Sooke council to write a letter in support.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said transit service hasn’t kept up with growth in the region.

“We [council] want to see improvements. Transit has to be appealing for people to use it,” Tait said.

“For the most part when it runs and it’s on time its great. It’s when there are issues, it’s a problem.”

More than 65 per cent of bus users in Sooke use the transit system within the town and 20 per cent use it for trips to other areas in Greater Victoria, according to figures released by B.C. Transit.

The Victoria Regional Transit System is the second largest in B.C., carrying more than 100,000 passengers a day.