Riders get on a bus at the new Port Alberni exchange

Get on the bus and ride

Alberni's mayor bids for free bus passes to entice city councillors to take transit, get in touch with new system.

Port Alberni’s mayor wants councillors to ride city buses to get more in touch with a transit system he says does not adequately serve residents.

On Monday night, Mayor John Douglas put forth a motion that council be provided with free bus passes.

“This would allow council members to make more informed decisions about transit,” he said, adding other benefits include decreasing the use of personal vehicles, alleviating parking issues and increasing interactions between council members and the general public.

Douglas contends the city’s new bus schedule has “some glaring omissions,” including the fact there is no stop at West Coast General Hospital (WCGH) until 7:45 a.m. after the start-of-shift for most employees, and no bus stops at the hospital on Sundays.

“We have a brand new schedule as a result of input we have provided,” Douglas said. “Yet not one person on our city council uses public transportation.”

Meribeth Burton, corporate spokesperson for B.C. Transit, said four open houses were held over options for recent transit changes and council ultimately approved this route option. The new routes went into effect Aug. 26.

But council’s response to Douglas’ plan to learn more by riding buses was tepid, at best.

“For the community to pay for my bus [rides], I do not agree with that,” said Coun. Cindy Solda. “If I want to catch the bus I will pay for it.”

City manager Ken Watson explained the city keeps all the revenues from transit fees, and allowing councillors to ride for free would not impact revenues.

Coun. Wendy Kerr acknowledged she knows nothing about the bus system in Port Alberni.

However, the motion did pass.

Douglas recently said B.C. Transit is looking at changing some things regarding service to WCGH, and general service improvements on Sundays.

Just Posted

Bamfield Road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Meet the candidates for the Courtenay-Alberni riding

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Alberni riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

City of Port Alberni offers support after fatal bus crash

Two University of Victoria students killed after crash en route to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

Participants double at Parkinson’s Superwalk in Port Alberni

Second annual event also saw an increase in funds raised

Alberni School District considers three name changes

Neill Elementary, Ucluelet Secondary and school district identified for new names

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read