Bus service in Alberni on the rise

BC Transit has games out scenarios for improved transit service in Alberni, and are inviting the public to give input.

Bus driver Ben Bakker reflects on possible changes to Alberni's transit system next year.

Bus driver Ben Bakker reflects on possible changes to Alberni's transit system next year.

In a time when service often takes a back seat to economics, it’s nice to see BC Transit taking another look at how it serves our community.

And we are excited about some of the changes they have proposed.

Perhaps it’s surprising to some that Port Alberni is No. 6 in terms of ridership in the province—just two spots behind the bustling city of Victoria. However, to those who rely on our transit system to get from one side of our sprawling valley to the other, it’s day-to-day transportation.

We are heartened at the discussion of creating an exchange in the heart of Port Alberni. It’s something a modern city, for lack of a better term, has; and shows transit is as important a link in our transportation system as it is in larger burgs like Nanaimo or Victoria.

While we understand BC Transit is looking for efficiencies while attempting to keep our service user-friendly, Port Alberni’s ridership could be construed as a positive signal on how our community is evolving.

Streamlining the schedules during the week and evenings, and keeping Sunday service will hopefully see even more ridership in the coming years.

The buses already run through Hupacasath First Nation territory, and we applaud the idea of extending service out to the Tseshaht First Nation territory and to the Tseshaht Market, a region bursting with possibilities and opportunities.

Soon, transit options will come to the public for comment. It is important to let the powers that be know whether you like the changes—and what you feel could be improved.