The appointment of Sooke Mayor Maja Tait to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission opens the door to better bus service in the region, says commission chair Susan Brice.
The B.C. government announced last week that it was expanding the commission from seven to eight members, and for the first time giving Sooke a seat.
Tait’s appointment is the second Western Communities voice on the commission. Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton also sits on the commission.
“The commission strives to represent the needs of riders throughout the region and there’s been considerable growth in Sooke. We need to address some of the town’s particular needs,” Brice said.
For Tait, the appointment is a long time in the making, and it will give Sooke the voice it needs on the transit commission.
Transit continues to be one of the major complaints Tait receives as mayor and one area she would like to improve.
Many believe that better bus service would reduce congestion not only on Sooke Road but through the Colwood Crawl. The frequency of the bus during daytime hours is also a problem.
“It’s very difficult for people that need to use transit to get to medical appointments in town,” Tait said. “It’s a very long day when you need to catch [bus] 61 that turns into [bus] 50 and goes to Langford before it goes into town.”
Other transit related projects that need to be debated include the need for proper bus shelters, how transit can help shift workers, and if schedules need to be adjusted for buses to arrive and depart either earlier or later, Tait said.
“I know there is pressure on the system all over, but I think that with our community, having someone on the commission who residents can talk to about their concerns, the more likely some of those issues will be solved.”
It’s a statement Brice agrees with.
“There is nothing like local knowledge. I think it is so valuable when you got somebody from the area. Maja will hear from her own residents.”