Hopping on the election bus

With many municipalities in the province having difficultly balancing budgets, Nelson is no exception. One of the budget costs overruns for the city budget of 2010 was Nelson Transit.

With many municipalities in the province having difficultly balancing budgets, Nelson is no exception. One of the budget costs overruns for the city budget of 2010 was Nelson Transit.

In the last few months, city administration and council met with BC Transit to review the cost of supplying bus service in the City of Nelson. Over the last few years the cost has increased from approximately $200,000 per year to $400,000 in 2010.

The main increase was the new larger transit buses that replaced the older city buses. Although the new buses are more fuel efficient, because of their larger size, they use more fuel to travel the city streets and roads. The other reason for the large increase was the finance charges for the six new buses, which is approximately $45,000 per bus.

The City and BC Transit have been looking at ways to reduce costs of which one in the short term was eliminating Sunday bus service in Nelson.

I was the only councillor who voted against this reduction in service and suggested all cost cutting measures should go to a public meeting for feedback and suggestions on how to deal with this financial problem.

A quote from Principals of Public Participation is: “Those affected by a decision have the right to be involved in the decision-making process.”

Other suggestions included reducing bus service to the upper Rosemont area and the Chahko Mika Mall, which have been put on hold waiting for a report on usage. Also, this financial shortfall needs more input from the operators of the buses to look for efficiencies without reductions in service.

Already letters and concerned citizens at our last council meeting have stated that the reduction of bus service could cause serious problems for the current ridership.

Along with this, one councillor is requesting a review of senior parking passes. Bus service and senior parking passes are public services the city provides for taxpayers and are not intended to be cost neutral. As well, it does not make sense to cut bus service and at the same time have a plan to reduce greenhouse gases. To increase the distance to walk to access a city buses, especially in winter, may be too difficult and hazardous for seniors, the disabled and young families.

For that very reason, the bus terminal area should remain on Ward Street and Baker Street and not be moved to Victoria Street.

I believe that the whole transit system review needs to have more public and political input to find better solutions rather than reducing city bus service. I am in favor of finding more efficiency in the bus system, but without reduction of bus services to areas now covered.

Because of this and other issues I have decided to run again in the next civic election.


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

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read