LETTER: Free transit creates an untenable demand on system

It’s a wonderful thought, but there is no such thing as free transit. The cost to operate would go on general taxation. If you do make the choice to use it then why would you not pay?

READ ALSO: Central Saanich councillor wants free transit for all

It has been looked at before and I was involved in two cities, London England and Vancouver, that seriously considered this. It was quickly realized that the transit systems would not be able to cope with the increase in ridership. They cannot meet the service demands in the CRD now.

READ ALSO: Alarmist note spurs bus concern in Sidney

When municipalities were approached for additional land to build additional transit facilities the answer was great idea but not in my back yard.

In addition and particularly in this region it is very difficult to hire drivers due to the unsocial hours, pay and problems with dealing with the public. Mechanics are similarly difficult to find and retain due to pay and better offers in the heavy industries.

READ ALSO: Advocacy group says budget will make Saanich less affordable

It is a great idea but unless you can find facilities, drivers and mechanics and the way to pay for a free service it’s a non starter.

When I last looked at this some eight years ago, each fare was already being subsidized to the tune of $8 per ride.

Peter Knightley

Sidney

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