Shaving transit makes me very angry and upset. Imagine knowing the following:
-That BC Transit would not include public engagement during their service review.
• That councillor Margaret Stacey did not want public consultation before voting on BC Transit’s recommendations as it would result in those who want to use it a lot storming in or writing letters.
• That the city will not consider the opinions and recommendations of the ones who would’ve been the most knowledgeable about what routes would work better, the bus drivers themselves.
• That the new buses were not the only options to choose from in BC Transit’s fleet but were the ones deemed, among other things, the most fuel efficient.
• That someone at city hall said there was no point in fighting to keep Sunday service as the motion was already passed and it would be too hard to change.
• That BC Transit included in it’s review that ridership will drop for at least a year after the changes are made but will go back up after we’ve learned the new system.
• That BC Transit’s recommendations were made based on only two days of ridership review and did not include weekends.
• That the city says rates were raised but did not cover the financial shortfall. (Cash fares raised by 25 cents. Day passes by $1 but can no longer be purchased from the drivers.)
Monthly pass to Balfour did not go up. Monthly pass in town was $46 — combined out to Lower 6 Mile Road was $60 — is now $50!
• That the ones who will be most affected will be those with young children, those who have physical and health issues and the elderly and have definitely not been given serious consideration in any of the recommendations or decisions.
I challenge everyone on city council, as well as their families, to take transit wherever they need to go, including grocery shopping, for at least a month. Get some weights to strap on to your legs and arms to be able to even vaguely imagine how the elderly or those with physical issues feel while they walk carrying bags of groceries that may see them through a couple of days. Have the Canadian National Institute for the Blind explain how limited sight is if you have macular degeneration and then see how you navigate walking from Front Street to the mall, even with a new sidewalk.
I challenge city council to put yourselves in other’s shoes for a change and then tell us that these proposed transit changes are even close to reasonable.
To anyone else who may be as angry as I am, I challenge you to write letters as well.