I am 19 and a few months ago I bought my first car. I resisted buying a car because, as an environmentalist, I know we need to move away from fossil fuel burning cars and, as a college student, I could hardly afford it.
However, it has been incredibly freeing. Before, I relied on our public transit system, which is unique in being one of the only rural transit systems in B.C. You can bus from Argenta to Trail!
However, the transit system is not perfect and it controls the lives of those living without a car. The last bus that leaves Nelson to the Slocan Valley or Castlegar is 5:20. That means that those relying on public transit can’t have a job that ends at 5:30. They can’t go see the summer play at the Capitol or go to one of Nelson’s many restaurants for dinner.
Owning a car has allowed me to actively participate in my community, but I don’t want to forget about all the bus users. Outside of the Lower Mainland, the West Kootenay has the highest ridership per capita in the province. Our transit system is so close to being amazing.
If we had evening buses, more frequent buses, and buses on Sunday, the transit system could become a reliable alternative to expensive and polluting cars. For those advocating for the environment, for low-income people, for youth, for seniors, for the economy, for everyone! We need to appreciate our transit system and encourage more buses.