UPDATED: Harling Point neighbourhood protests BC Transit service cuts

Harling Point residents petition to save their neighbourhood bus stop after new BC Transit changes remove it from the #3 bus route

Residents of Harling Point in south Oak Bay are concerned about upcoming changes to BC Transit routes. Starting January 2018, the community will lose its bus stop at Crescent and Quimper as BC Transit seeks to create more direct bus routes to main shopping centers. A second stop at Crescent and King George Terrace is also being removed leaving residents concerned about accessibility.

Harling Point is a neighbourhood of roughly 110 houses. The area is mostly home to young families and seniors, many who rely on bus service as a way to get to necessary amenities. Local residents cite the bus service as a key reason for buying in the neighbourhood, allowing them to age in place with transit accessibility. Residents hope BC Transit reconsiders the removal of the bus stops.

“It really wouldn’t change much to add the two existing stops on Crescent and King George Terrace and Crescent and Quimper,” says Harling Point resident Maureen Bradley.

BC Transit says the change comes after a request from the 2014 Victoria Regional Transit Review, which included public consultation, for faster, more direct routing. Low ridership in the area also contributed to the decision.

The closest transit stops available once the service changes in January will be the Crescent and Foul Bay intersection, which still meets BC Transit’s service standard of having 85 per cent of residents within a 40-metre walk to a stop. This routing change will mean a further walk for residents of Harling Point to access transit; however, transit users will gain much more direct one-seat service to a number of nearby key destinations such as Oak Bay Village, major retail at Foul Bay and Fort, as well as Royal Jubilee Hospital.

“We are happy to meet with this community group if they would like us to discuss the changes that are coming in and then we will be doing a review six months after implementation, as we do with these types of changes, to see how the system is working,” says Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit. “If there is a change that needs to be made than we will look at opportunities to do that.”

If you have questions or concerns about upcoming transit changes, please contact BC Transit.

Call BC Transit customer info line at 250 -382 – 6161

Or email transitinfo@bctransit.com.

UPDATE:

The community petition now has over 100 signatures. Mayor Jensen met with Harling Point residents on Sunday afternoon to listen to their concerns.

BC Transit has been in touch with the residents and has asked for a meeting on Nov. 6 with their point person to discuss options for transit in Harling Point. In the email correspondence, BC Transit said: “We appreciate the feedback that we’ve heard with regards to the proposed routing changes. I think we have some options available for maintaining service to the area.”

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

 

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