Sooke councillor takes on transit

Counc. Kerrie Reay wants improved bus service our to Sooke

  • Dec. 18, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Distict of Sooke Councillor Kerrie Reay

On November 12  Councillor Kerrie Reay moved a Notice of Motion requesting that Sooke mayor and council forward a letter to Victoria Transit Commission requesting them to ensure appropriate and sufficient service to meet the need of high ridership from the Sooke region and the motion passed in council on November 25.

Council also directed that Coun. Reay attend at the next Victoria Regional Transit Commission meeting to present the letter.

Reay addressed the Victoria Regional Transit Commission (VRTC) on December 11 on behalf of the District of Sooke to raise a number of issues regarding declining service to Sooke. The following is a summary of those remarks:

“As a daily user of transit from Sooke to downtown Victoria since 2008, commuting during rush hour on the #61 bus has mostly been a good experience.

“This appears to have shifted in September 2013. Until that time, most busses travelling to and from Sooke have been double-deckers, and this serves our area well. But for the past few months we have noted that low-rider busses are being substituted for double-deckers on many of the rush hour routes, especially those that travel home from downtown Victoria to Sooke.

“Often, many Sooke commuters are forced to stand for a majority of the one hour and 10 minutes commuting time they are on the bus. There have also been several occasions when the scheduled bus did not come at all, leaving the next bus over-crowded, and many people late returning to Sooke.”

A number of examples were provided to the VRTC by Reay including; watching Sooke residents being left at the curb and buses arriving “Sorry we are full” after already waiting half an hour.

“Critical to this discussion is the issue of safety. Any person on the bus travelling the highway from Langford to Sooke can appreciate that a fully loaded low-rider that is standing room only right to the door, has a very high potential for a tragic outcome.

“The bus travels at 80 kph on the Trans Canada highway and four lanes, and at 60 kph around the tight and numerous corners. Transit users who are forced to stand feel vulnerable and concerned for their safety – especially through the fall and winter months with weather and road conditions, early night fall, deer and not to mention the recent problems with someone shooting pellets at the buses.”

Reay advised the VRTC that, according to the 2011 census, the growth of Sooke was just shy of 18 per cent, “it is one of the fastest growing communities on the Island, yet we have seen no corresponding increase to transit service.”

Reay indicated it was absolutely imperative that BC Transit ensures appropriate scheduling and service to meet the current demand. This requires the use of double-deckers for residents of Sooke who commute during peak times, so that they can expect to have reliable and safe service.  If there are not enough double-deckers to meet the demand then BC Transit should add extra buses during these peak times. She said a number of people who were regular transit users are now driving into work because they are not prepared to stand all the way to Sooke anymore.

Reay also requested  BC Transit re-examine the service and scheduling for after hours and weekends. Service during these times is also insufficient for the demands of the growing community of Sooke.

Coun. Reay can be contacted via email at: kreay@sooke.ca

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

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read