Shorter transfers hurt bus riders

Re: Transfer fraud bilks B.C. Transit (News, March 25)

I am very upset at the one-hour bus transfer being implemented.

As I have been both an income assistance recipient and a low-income wage earner, I feel that I have great insight into the problems this will cause.

Two examples come to mind.

When an income assistance recipient needs to go directly to the income office to speak with a worker: Trip One: go to office, stand in line up and eventually see a worker. Trip Two: go home and find paperwork that worker needs to see. Trip Three: go back to office and see worker again. Trip Four: return home to find additional paperwork that worker didn’t mention during first visit. Trip Five: return to office with paperwork in hand. Add to those trips, having to pick up kids at school or the babysitter, or having to go to a bank to cash a cheque.

Another example is having to run out for a moment to pick up a much-needed item that ran out of at an inconvenient time, such as medication, milk for a child, diapers, toilet paper, etc. It is quite easy to say people need to be better prepared, however it is pretty difficult to gauge how many diapers or rolls of toilet paper a household needs if everyone has the flu or if some water was spilled over a box of diapers.

For the working, poor having an impromptu doctor visit costs at least $5 in additional bus fare on top of having to pay for medication. I myself neglected have to visit the doctor because it was a choice of paying the bus fare and buying medication, or buying food for my kids.

A taxi to and from my local grocery store is $12 including tip for the driver. The cost of bus fare for myself and three kids is $14.90. Maybe if the bus driver offers to carry my purchases from the bus stop and onto my deck it will be worth the added inconvenience of having to wait at a bus stop in the pouring rain next to rude smokers.

Linda Crighton

Victoria