The Nelson Transit Community is calling on city council to conduct a series of round table discussions to allow for public consultation around changes to the city’s transit service.
The group — who identifies as representing 800 Nelson residents — has sent a proposal to City Hall for Monday’s committee of the whole meeting.
“They have been involved in looking at the changes that have already taken place and the proposed changes since July,” said Barry Nelson, with the Transit Community. “After going to all of the all-candidates meetings for the election, they all promised that they would see that either continuing or new issues would be discussed with the general public that is effected.”
The transit committee decided as a group that they would submit their proposal to council in hopes that it would be addressed before the 2012 budget discussions.
The group has requested that the first round table meeting be schedule before Christmas.
“This will enable participants to put forward more meaningful, realistic and sustainable suggestions for possible change,” reads the proposal. “These suggestions would be forthcoming at a second round table session in early January prior to the 2012 budget discussions.”
Nelson said it’s important to have the round table discussions before the budget because he believes that is where the changes will be initiated.
With regards to the current changes that were implemented which included the discontinuation of Sunday service, Nelson said the process was incomplete.
“As far as the public is concerned there was no process. It was all done in council and at the recommendation of the BC Transit,” he said.
“As we understand it their rationale was based on two days of the ridership.”
Nelson said at the time when the changes were being recommended city councillor Robin Cherbo was the only one who advocated for public consultation.
“It was turned down by all the other council members at the time,” he said.
The Nelson Transit Community attended Monday’s inaugural meeting as a group and spoke to several of the councillors.
“We feel that from the discussions that we had that there is at least four and possibly five that are on board with following through with our proposal,” said Nelson.
Nelson said he and his wife Wendy are daily transit users, but because they are on a regular route have not yet been impacted by the changes.
“But what we see is that a number of our friends and people that we know from using the service, some of the changes, particularly the Sunday service has effected a great number of them,” he said. “But in looking at the proposed changes based on the BC Transit review that was done in June for the city there is an number of additional changes that are coming forward that would virtually effect everyone on the transit system.”
Nelson encouraged anyone with an interest in the transit system attend Monday’s committee of the whole meeting at 1 p.m.