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

Transit

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

Just Posted

Saanich calls for applicants to join Housing Strategy task force

Council to appoint ‘diverse group’ to tackle housing challenges

North Saanich submits ALR exclusion despite large opposition

Opposed North Saanich residents now shift their attention to ALC after 6-1 council vote

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

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

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read