B.C. Transit wants to see more service improvements in Sooke, and that likely means more buses and routes in the near future.
“We’d like to improve the local bus numbers over the next few years,” James Wadsworth, a senior planner with B.C. Transit, told Sooke District council last week.
More than 65 percent of bus users in Sooke use the transit system within town and 20 per cent use it for trips to other areas in Greater Victoria.
“As we think of the future network, there is a good regional connection, but there is still an opportunity to improve local transit … moving people within Sooke,” Wadsworth said.
B.C. Transit recently made changes to its service in Sooke, after consultation with bus riders and local officials. It added a late-night service to and from downtown Victoria and added a stop at SEAPARC Leisure Complex.
More changes are likely.
B.C. Transit will conduct a local area plan in 2016-2017 which will examine development, if more community buses are needed and in what areas and what are the priorities.
A larger study done earlier – the Transit Future Plan – identified the need for another park-and-ride lot further down West Coast Road, and the need of a new bus exchange if more community buses are added.
Mayor Maja Tait said B.C. Transit has made some positive changes, but more improvements would be welcomed.
“I think having used transit in the peak hours, it works great … the buses come regularly, and if you miss one you know another one will come along quickly, but for daytime use it’s different,” she said.
“The feedback I’ve had is the trip is just a bit too long for seniors or anyone going for medical appointments [in Victoria] … it makes for a really long bus trip home.”
Wadsworth said future consultation could solve some of those issues.
“We try to make the best use of the resources we can and balance everything out with funding and keeping taxes at a reasonable level,” he said.
The Victoria Regional Transit System is the second largest in B.C., carrying more than 100,000 passengers a day.