EDITORIAL: Time for serious transit talk

EDITORIAL: Time for serious transit talk

There was something disheartening about B.C. Transit’s return to Sooke last week.

The professionally prepared poster boards were on proud display, and B.C. Transit representatives were on hand to assure everyone that the folks who run the bus service were on the case. Final plans for improvements to transit were just around the corner.

Of course, we’ve heard it all before.

In 2013, Sooke council sent a letter to the Victoria Regional Transit Commission calling for better service in Sooke.

Two years later some modest changes were made.

There were more calls for action in 2016 and in 2018 when B.C. Transit finally announced public sessions and surveys to find out what transit users actually wanted.

Really.

It seemed they didn’t know.

RELATED: Transit back again

More than a year later and they’ve come back, seeking even more input from the public.

Meanwhile after years of dithering, it’s still taking some riders more than two hours to get into work in Victoria and another two to get home to Sooke. At times there is no service.

Of course, we all know what’s needed – more frequent service over longer hours and more effective links to regional transportation routes.

We could have told them that four years ago and forgone the surveys, public forums, and fancy poster boards.

But that wouldn’t have served to sufficiently obscure the real problem.

Money.

B.C. Transit tells us that it’s a “matter of juggling priorities and resource allocations” which, in case you don’t speak “bureaucratese,” means that they know what’s needed but don’t know how to pay for it. It’s why they estimate a three to seven-year implementation timeline after they finally come up with a plan.

Here a thought.

A long-standing argument for public transportation says that by getting more people on buses fewer cars will clog our roadways. That’s better for the environment. Period.

Yet at the same time as we’re delaying transit improvements, taxpayers are shelling out about $100 million on the McKenzie interchange and another $87 million to improve Highway 14, all to make it easier for private cars.

It’s time to point out the hypocrisy of the situation and call on government to seriously resource transit services.

And it’s time for the people of Sooke to tell B.C. Transit, enough.

No more surveys and poster boards.

Either get serious about making the system better, or leave us alone.

Sometimes you have to get angry to get things done.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Highway 14 (Sooke Road) is closed between Impala Road and Humpback Road following a “major” police incident, according to DriveBC. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘Major’ police incident closes Highway 14 through Sooke

Incident occurred Friday night, detour made available early Saturday

Community members Ed Hutchinson, left, Dave Noren, and Pat Graham, president of The Ladies Guild, stand before the new book house outside the Church of the Advent in Colwood. The tiny library was built as a result of the annual Church of the Advent book sale being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Submitted/Joan Hoffman)
Colwood church builds little library

Church of Advent annual book sale cancelled due to health restrictions

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

(Courtesy Very Good Butchers)
Very Good Butchers brand adds cheese to its platter

The Cultured Nut products to be rebranded under Very Good Cheese banner

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read