A BC Transit bus after a make-over at the company’s new body and paint shop. Central Saanich are hoping for increased service in the district. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

A BC Transit bus after a make-over at the company’s new body and paint shop. Central Saanich are hoping for increased service in the district. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Central Saanich makes moves to alleviate business transit concerns

Councillor calls for enhanced service and long-term transit passes

Businesses have been writing to Central Saanich council about transit issues affecting their competitiveness. Council responded by unanimously passing three of Coun. Niall Paltiel’s motions regarding transit.

At the Central Saanich Committee of the Whole on June 24, council discussed a range of issues with the visiting Saanich Peninsula Transit Commissioner Geoff Orr, also mayor of North Saanich. Prior to the meeting there had been a little disquiet that an official elected in another municipality represented Central Saanich’s transport needs. However, Paltiel says he and his colleagues were impressed with Orr’s knowledge of, and commitment to, Central Saanich’s transport challenges.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria youth rally around no-user-fee transit idea

“I was impressed with Commissioner Orr. He had done a lot of work on the needs of Central Saanich and is working proactively on the issues.”

The motions that were ratified called for a letter be sent to the Victoria Transit Commission and the Province of British Columbia, requesting consideration of three key issues. These are the restoration of transit service to the Brentwood loop and commuter times in future scheduling, an increase to the Keating industrial park and Tanner Ridge service, and implementing a one- to five-year annual transit pass.

There has been a clamour, especially among youth, for no-user fee transit, but Paltiel feels a more realistic and pressing need is for an expansion and frequency of bus service. In this vein, he is keen for the route that once looped around Butchart Gardens to be re-instated. The gardens are keen as it would provide a better connection to Victoria, and allow employees and visitors greater access.

ALSO READ: Five Peninsula churches celebrate the bounties of the vine at Wine Fest

Plans are in motion for a more formalized transit hub at Keating industrial park, but councillors say businesses closer to the highway would like a transit service increase as increasingly struggle to retain staff. Some of the biggest businesses there have written letters and with 6,000 employees working in and around Keating, there is growing urgency for improved service. Paltiel notes that improved bus coverage would also help commuters ditch their cars for a seat on the bus, helping the district’s carbon emission goals.

“It makes it easier, especially for people who live in Saanichton or Brentwood Bay. It gives people an incentive to make a habitual lifestyle change, to switch from personal vehicles to public transit,” says Paltiel.

ALSO READ: Peninsula foodbank at ‘all-time low’

The third motion passed involves extending bus passes up to five years. Paltiel hopes that such an extension would result in a significant discount, inform BC Transit of the need for more enhanced service and give commuters a real incentive to switch to public transport. One of the more innovative aspects of the idea would be to work with property developers, so new suites that don’t provide a parking spot or a general parking lot could instead provide long-term transit passes for new residents.

Orr will take the information to the commission and report back.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Transit

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

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Marc Porpaczy said he’s glad he delayed his daily walk with his dog, Juno, after a car crashed just outside his driveway just before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks, say Colwood residents

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read