Right now in Nelson we are facing the possibility of cuts to our local bus service. This is at a time where we have seen many changes to the service, including new buses, and hikes in fares.
I am a regular rider on the bus. I use the service several times a day to run my elementary age daughter to and from school; to travel to and from work and to visit friends, run errands etc… I am very happy to use the bus and do so by choice. My daughter and I arrive on time or early to school and to other activities, because that is how it works when you follow a scheduled public transportation system. We are happy to be early, never stressed out and always enjoy our time together. My daughter has known all our bus drivers as she has grown up in Nelson, and they and the other passengers are part of our lives. We are richer people for this.
It seems to me that if incentives like free bus days (how about Earth Day or Canada Day?), generous reductions for monthly pass users, and less expensive children’s fares were offered, we might just fill our buses with people like me and my daughter, looking to save money, reduce the number of cars on the road and arrive places happy and relaxed.
If there are cuts to service at times of the day where usage is low, I for one would have to change the job I do. I rely on the last bus of the day several nights a week to get home, especially in winter, when walking or cycling are more difficult options.
This is not a time to cut buses but a time to make them even more convenient for people and to encourage more Nelsonites to jump on the bus. I hope I see you there!
Nicole Purvis, Nelson