Living a “green” lifestyle has become a challenge for Shane Nicholls.
The 30-year-old Colwood resident moved to the West Shore a year and a half ago to enjoy the nearby lakes and abundance of trees and save a bit of money on rent.
Now he’s gearing up to move back to Victoria because of a lack of evening bus service.
“When I am in downtown Victoria (B.C. Transit) is an amazing service, but in the West Shore communities there is a missing link,” Nicholls said. “It’s definitely inadequate. The West Shore is the fastest growing area in the province, and they should be increasing service.”
Nicholls works in retail and opts for public transit over a car due to costs and his commitment to the environment. It’s been a challenge for him to get back to his Triangle Mountain home after work when the last bus leaves the Langford exchange on Station Avenue at 6:25 p.m. on weekdays.
“I feel like I have a 6:30 p.m. curfew,” Nicholls said.
In his bid to get better service he has called B.C. Transit numerous times, spoken the the B.C. Transit Commission and lobbied local politicians.
“I really wanted them to extend the buses by three hours,” Nicholls said. “After work I need to rush to the bus. I can’t meet up with friends or go to a movie. I almost feel like I am being forced to drive.”
He even went as far and standing at the bus stops with a petition. He received more than 200 signatures in May and June.
Rather than pay for a taxi, he leaves work one hour early, which costs him five hours of wages each week.
“I moved out here to save money (on rent),” Nicholls said, but the savings have been spent on transportation costs.
If he misses the bus he can then choose to pay a $15 cab fare or walk for an hour to get home.
“I can walk, I am young athletic guy, but what about the single mothers and seniors?” he said.
B.C. Transit admits it has received complaints from West Shore residents living on small routes including Triangle Mountain, but the soonest changes could happen is this fall.
“Some routes such as the Triangle Mountain and Metchosin routes only operate until 6 or 7 p.m. We have received four complaints/requests asking for later service into the evening for this area over the last few months,” Maureen Sheehan, B.C. Transit, director sales, marketing and communications, wrote in an email.
B.C. Transit is looking into revisions on of these smaller routes, including Triangle Mountain for the September 2014 schedule, she said.
“With demand for new and increased services, any service change is subject to review based on priority, demand and availability of resources,” Sheehan said. “The planning team builds the service plan based on these factors and presents to the commission for approval.”
What do you think about transit service on the West Shore? Email email@example.com.