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MLA calls for basic transit growth on the Peninsula
MLA Gary Holman is marking a victory alongside residents of the Gulf Islands in saving the 10 a.m. TransLink route 620 bus from the Tsawassen ferry terminal to the Bridgeport Skytrain station in Richmond.
Holman said TransLink had planned on eliminating the 10 a.m. bus as of Dec. 16. It normally picks up passengers off of the Gulf Islands ferry and gets them to their connections. Without it, he said people would have been left waiting an extra hour for the next bus on that route.
According to TransLink’s winter route changes set for Dec. 16, the 10 a.m. 620 bus would have been dropped in favour of a 9:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. bus.
Due to an outpouring of complaints, Holman said TransLink has pulled back.
“For Gulf Islanders, that was a crucial connection,” Holman said. “TransLink soon realized this … they had stepped on a bit of a hornet’s nest.”
The MLA credited the transit authority for changing its mind. It means less financial impact on travelers from the Gulf Islands, he said.
In an email to the News Review, Sany Zein, a spokesperson for TransLink confirmed they had initially planned to align the 620 service with ferry passenger demand.
“We have heard a strong Gulf Island community desire to maintain current services,” Zein wrote. “The 9 a.m. 620 bus service leaving Bridgeport Station and the 10 a.m. 620 bus service leaving the Tsawwassen ferry will remain in the schedule.”
Holman said he’s interested in transit issues on the Saanich Peninsula as well. He said he favours a B.C. Transit request to the Capital Regional District to increase fuel taxes by two cents a litre, in order to have an impact on B.C. Transit’s budget.
In North Saanich, Holman added, there is somewhat limited bus service and would like to see at least an expansion of basic services there.