Capital Regional District staff is hitting the road to sell a plan for creating a new regional transportation service.
CRD directors agreed Wednesday to consult with local councils over the next three months and bring back comments early next year.
Transportation continues to be a significant issue for resident across the region, said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait, adding the new transportation function will set regional priorities and create a unified voice to better leverage senior government funds.
“We’re all in this together. It’s not just one area’s problem. Our work and population is affected by this, it’s not sustainable. Something has to start shifting,” she said.
The new service initially would consolidate existing CRD transportation planning and regional trails. Ultimately, efforts could be made to bring public transit under the jurisdiction of the CRD, but that would require legislative change.
For years, Sooke has lobbied for a spot on the Victoria Regional Transit System board, but the province has refused. The new service could give Sooke a needed voice, Tait said.
“With 58 per cent of transportation movements in the region crossing municipal boundaries it is imperative that a regional lens be placed on transportation,” said CRD board chair Barbara Desjardins.
“Being able to move between municipalities is not only vital to the economic success of the region but also provides for access to health, recreation and social structures that make our region so vibrant.”