A BC Transit bus after a make-over at the company’s new body and paint shop. Central Saanich are hoping for increased service in the district. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Central Saanich makes moves to alleviate business transit concerns

Councillor calls for enhanced service and long-term transit passes

Businesses have been writing to Central Saanich council about transit issues affecting their competitiveness. Council responded by unanimously passing three of Coun. Niall Paltiel’s motions regarding transit.

At the Central Saanich Committee of the Whole on June 24, council discussed a range of issues with the visiting Saanich Peninsula Transit Commissioner Geoff Orr, also mayor of North Saanich. Prior to the meeting there had been a little disquiet that an official elected in another municipality represented Central Saanich’s transport needs. However, Paltiel says he and his colleagues were impressed with Orr’s knowledge of, and commitment to, Central Saanich’s transport challenges.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria youth rally around no-user-fee transit idea

“I was impressed with Commissioner Orr. He had done a lot of work on the needs of Central Saanich and is working proactively on the issues.”

The motions that were ratified called for a letter be sent to the Victoria Transit Commission and the Province of British Columbia, requesting consideration of three key issues. These are the restoration of transit service to the Brentwood loop and commuter times in future scheduling, an increase to the Keating industrial park and Tanner Ridge service, and implementing a one- to five-year annual transit pass.

There has been a clamour, especially among youth, for no-user fee transit, but Paltiel feels a more realistic and pressing need is for an expansion and frequency of bus service. In this vein, he is keen for the route that once looped around Butchart Gardens to be re-instated. The gardens are keen as it would provide a better connection to Victoria, and allow employees and visitors greater access.

ALSO READ: Five Peninsula churches celebrate the bounties of the vine at Wine Fest

Plans are in motion for a more formalized transit hub at Keating industrial park, but councillors say businesses closer to the highway would like a transit service increase as increasingly struggle to retain staff. Some of the biggest businesses there have written letters and with 6,000 employees working in and around Keating, there is growing urgency for improved service. Paltiel notes that improved bus coverage would also help commuters ditch their cars for a seat on the bus, helping the district’s carbon emission goals.

“It makes it easier, especially for people who live in Saanichton or Brentwood Bay. It gives people an incentive to make a habitual lifestyle change, to switch from personal vehicles to public transit,” says Paltiel.

ALSO READ: Peninsula foodbank at ‘all-time low’

The third motion passed involves extending bus passes up to five years. Paltiel hopes that such an extension would result in a significant discount, inform BC Transit of the need for more enhanced service and give commuters a real incentive to switch to public transport. One of the more innovative aspects of the idea would be to work with property developers, so new suites that don’t provide a parking spot or a general parking lot could instead provide long-term transit passes for new residents.

Orr will take the information to the commission and report back.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Mount Douglas Secondary named top STEM school in provincial competition

Team of Grade 10 students wins first place overall and Best Engineering Design award

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

Victoria Police Department taking too long to respond to emergency calls

A new report says VicPD is not meeting its 911 response targets

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Most Read