Transit rally planned Sunday
A transit advocate is organizing a peaceful demonstration this weekend to mark the last Sunday bus run in Nelson.
Curtis Nickason, who rides the bus daily, says the protest will take place on board the bus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day as well as the Ward and Baker stop and throughout downtown.
“It’s a pretty simple demonstration. We’re inviting all transit users and supporters who are opposed to the cuts being implemented right now,” Nickason says.
He says the symbolic rally is to show that while the city’s buses may not always be full, they aren’t empty either, and many residents count on them: “It’s not just for old people, it’s not just for the disabled. The service is there for everybody.”
Nickason says they appreciate that something has to be done to shore up a deficit, but the proposed cuts are not sitting well, and were implemented with little consultation.
“We’re trying to bring that to light. This is going to affect a lot of people. And with a municipal election on the horizon, we hope our politicians take notice as well.”
Nickason takes the bus to work each day, as does his wife, while their son uses it to get to scouts and hockey. “We count on it as the major part of our transportation needs,” he says. “We want to go to the beach, we hop on the bus. It’s affordable.”
Nickason has been riding transit since he was 12 and was a driver with Calgary Transit for a while.
“It’s in my blood, for sure. This is the first protest I’ve ever coordinated, so that just shows how passionate I am. We should be in this day and age trying to figure out how to take cars off the road, not buses.”
Nickason says the sit-in, being put together on short notice, will be informal, but he hopes to organize other events come September, when further cuts are expected to kick in.
“This is the last bus on a Sunday the city will see in the foreseeable future. We don’t appreciate that cut. We understand why it has to be made but think there could be better ways,” he says.