BC Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha was in town for Wednesday's first regional transit committee.

Nelson transit and our rural reality

Kootenay politicians pieced together a transit puzzle at Nelson’s City Hall on Wednesday morning — figuratively and literally.

Kootenay politicians pieced together a transit puzzle at Nelson’s City Hall on Wednesday morning — figuratively and literally.

The gathering was a kick-off for the new regional committee on transit that will eventually integrate nine separate operating systems into a single schedule and regional fare structure. There was a lot of talk of the historic importance of the day, the president and CEO of BC Transit gave a speech, and the nine members of the new committee put together a giant puzzle of our region to illustrate the future.

To the casual observer passing by the gathering in council chambers that morning, it might have seemed like a lot of hoopla for a committee meeting. But beyond the huge puzzle pieces and grinning politicians, there was plenty of substance to the event.

Canadians love their vehicles and in the rural reaches of this country that fondness is even stronger. Access to reliable transportation is a lifeline that makes living in the boondocks much more convenient. As we look around at some of the major issues facing the planet — global warming, rising gas prices, oil reserves — those days are slowly eroding. The days when every family owns two cars will eventually be a historical curiosity.

Linking the communities of the West Kootenay — from Nakusp to Trail to Kaslo — is important for today, but vital for tomorrow. And that’s why there is so much ceremony around the new committee.

BC Transit provided the spark two years ago, but it has taken cooperation between all the communities involved to get to this stage. That’s not always easy. Parochial politics has dominated our region since the incorporations of Nelson, Castlegar and Trail. In recent years that city state mentality has waned as leaders realize in many respects we are stronger together than apart.

The committee must now sort out the details of the new partnership and that may take up to a year. Once complete, it will be up to leaders throughout the region to sell residents on the benefits of transit. In the short term, figuring out the puzzle on that societal shift may difficult, but eventually it will become our rural reality.


Just Posted

Little Wagon Theatre brings comedy to Nelson streets

There will be various performances of It’s Jest a Show throughout the weekend

Hometown gold for rowers at Nelson Regatta

Rosie Velisek and Jesse Harold won three golds Saturday

LETTER: Time to roll back power prices

FortisBC is overcharging customers, Andy Shadrack argues

Taekwondo is a family obsession at Nelson’s Yom Chi Martial Arts

The Jordahls have found success with their Baker Street dojang

Nelson city hall will fly Pride flag this year

Council will develop a policy for future flag decisions

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read