Increase service first; ridership will follow

As a professional working downtown, I’ve come to really appreciate the benefits of busing. It’s far cheaper than parking and actually gets me closer to the door.

However, the bus in my area only runs Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., every 50 minutes. So, if I have a late meeting, appointment, or anything prevents me from being at that bus stop by 4:50, I have to take a different bus which only gets me to within about a kilometre to my door. That’s a long walk at the end of the day, especially in winter and in business attire.

After taking the bus to work for some time, I definitely see the benefits. However, B.C. Transit is doing a poor job of understanding and managing the needs of communities. I see a number of professionals on the bus every morning, but numbers are going down, not up.

Why would someone pay $100-$140 per month to park three blocks from their office when they can pay $32 bi-weekly to get dropped at the front door? The answer is it’s too painful relying on Transit. If taking the bus is perceived as a hardship, people won’t do it.

I don’t understand the logic, especially with the green initiative. Unfortunately, Transit’s lack of service and strategy of increasing service only if ridership goes up doesn’t work. They have to provide service first. That’s like opening a restaurant and serving two menu options until clientele goes up.

I, for one, am looking for a vehicle and a parking spot and at this rate, with Transit being so out of touch with community needs, ridership will never go up.

Lynn Phillips