(Twitter/BC Transit)

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District takes step back over proposed bus service to Sproat Lake

Negative feedback prompts directors to revisit idea of broader rural transit

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District will be taking a broader look at transit service in rural areas after receiving some negative feedback about a potential Sproat Lake bus route.

Directors at an Alberni Valley & Bamfield Services Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 6 voted in favour of a potential bus route between Sproat Lake Provincial Park and Walmart in Port Alberni. At that time, BC Transit representatives said that there was not much support for bus routes in the other regional districts, like Beaver Creek and Cherry Creek.

READ MORE: BC Transit looks at bus service to Sproat Lake

During the Wednesday, May 13 ACRD regular board meeting, the proposal was brought forward again. If approved, the Sproat Lake to Walmart route would have been added to BC Transit’s three-year Transit Improvement Plan for further consideration. The route wouldn’t be implemented until at least 2023.

“It’s going to take a lot of time to flesh this out and bring this to fruition,” said environmental services manager Rob Williams on Wednesday.

Penny Cote, the ACRD director for Sproat Lake, said she could not support the proposal due to negative feedback she has received from her community.

“There’s a perceived notion that this will be a city bus…to bring the criminal element out,” said Cote. “At this point with the objections I am receiving from the community…I’d like to defer this initiative to a later date.”

A petition has been started on change.org by Sproat Lake resident Nile Verbrugge, asking the ACRD to stop the BC Transit bus route to Sproat Lake. The petition states that Sproat Lake residents “do not want the added negative impacts of public transit coming out to the rural areas.” Some of these negative impacts noted in the petition include increased crime, increased taxes and the presence of drugs, needles and “homeless people.”

The petition had more than 200 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, May 13, 2020.

ACRD director Sharie Minions said she was “really disappointed” with the petition and some of the comments.

“To me, it read, ‘We don’t want people who are living in poverty coming out to our lake,’” she said. “To me, that is a very disappointing and upsetting mentality. I would like to continue with exploring if it is a service we want or not…and I don’t think we should let some of those stereotypical comments stop us from exploring a service.”

Cote agreed that she was also “disappointed” in the comments.

“I’ve spent a lot of time trying to talk to the residents of my area, trying to explain what the intention is,” she said. “There’s no support from the community members.”

Beaufort director Tanya Shannon said she would like to see more public engagement. The BC Transit public engagement session in October 2019 only had 32 respondents.

“To me, it was not very well attended,” said Shannon.

Beaver Creek director John McNabb also expressed his doubt that Beaver Creek residents would be willing to pay for a service that does not benefit them at all.

The board voted on Wednesday to bring the proposal back to an Alberni Valley & Bamfield Services Committee meeting for “broader” discussions about an Alberni Valley-wide transit service, rather than just Sproat Lake.

Williams said that ACRD staff will reach out to BC Transit to talk about extending transit service to areas like Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek and Beaufort, as well.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictBC Transit

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

Just Posted

A monument was unveiled during a ceremony in Tofino last week honouring Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. The monument will be placed on Hwy. 4 near Kennedy Lake. (Photo courtesy of Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of BC)
Somber ceremony held in Tofino to mark 10th anniversary of fatal ambulance crash

Beloved paramedics Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka died in a tragic ambulance crash on Hwy. 4.

New Bulldogs forward Oak MacLeod fires a shot on the Grizzlies’ goal during the first period of a preseason game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Tuesday, Oct. 27. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: New guys get game winner for Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Alberni records a 5-4 overtime win against the Victoria Grizzlies

From left to right: Mark Walter, BJ Gillis, Kyle Munro and Danny Gillis of the Alberni Valley Disc Golf Club stand beside a disc golf basket at Dry Creek Park. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Disc golf expands to Port Alberni’s Dry Creek Park

New 18-hole course will be ready to play by spring of 2021

ARTS AROUND: Stop and smell the flowers at the Rollin Art Centre

Next exhibit features Port Alberni artists Cynthia Bonesky and Jan Vriesen

PanAmour, featuring some familiar Port Alberni faces, will perform online via Zoom Oct. 30, 2020 at Char’s Landing. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cure the blues with PanAmour at Char’s Landing

Tickets for virtual concert available online

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

Police hope the public can help find Hailey St. Claire who has been missing since Tuesday. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo woman reported missing, police asking for public’s help

Hailey St. Claire, 28, was reported missing Tuesday

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read