CRD board is calling on the provincial and federal governments to step up and help with transit improvements. (Black Press Media file photo)

CRD calls on provincial, federal governments to improve Greater Victoria public transit

‘We desperately need more dollars in our system,’ CRD director says

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is calling on the senior governments to fund improvements to the region’s public transit system as a means to increase service, support economic recovery and help achieve climate change goals.

During a board meeting June 24, the CRD passed a motion submitted by three directors – Saanich Couns. Ned Taylor and Rebecca Mersereau and Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday – to send a letter to members of the provincial and federal government asking for increased funding for improvements to public transportation, to improve access to transit and support economic resilience in the region.

This was “already a pressing issue prior to COVID-19. We desperately need more dollars in our system,” Taylor told Black Press Media.

Thousands of residents rely on public transit to get around the region and, as an active transportation user himself, Taylor feels there hasn’t been a hard enough push for transit improvements in the past.

He pointed to gaps in the existing system and areas with intermittent service which results in crowded buses and riders left behind. Increased frequency is even more important now because of the social distancing requirements which have reduced capacity on buses, he said.

Taylor feels with funding the region could consider new forms of public transportation – such as light rail – to serve the growing population and help reduce the region’s emissions.

Metchosin Mayor John Ranns was the only director to oppose the motion. He called it a “non-essential item” and “too restrictive” as it specifically outlined where stimulus money could be spent.

“I can’t help but think that there’s a number of members here that don’t really see the new world that we’re entering,” he said, noting that higher taxes are likely on the way to cover the costs of the COVID-19 initiatives that are still supporting many people. He added that with more people working from home, there’s a possibility that there won’t be a need for increased transportation.

The CRD board chair will write to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, B.C. Premier John Horgan, the minister of transportation and infrastructure calling for “new investments and reliable annual funding to support increased public transportation.” The letter will also be copied to other members of both the provincial and federal governments including MLAs and MPs representing the CRD and to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission which has also called for transit improvements.

Taylor hopes to see the “senior levels of government put their money where their mouth is.”


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

BC TransitCRD

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke and T’Sou’ke Nation receive financial boost for projects

Provincial, federal governments invest millions towards Greater Victoria infrastructure

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Most Read