‘Crummy’ TransLink service derided by White Rock leaders

Officials presenting council with proposed improvements given an earful on local bus service.

Bus service in White Rock was discussed a city council Monday

TransLink officials visiting White Rock this week to discuss improvements to bus services got an earful from elected officials.

Tim Savoie, TransLink’s vice-president of transportation, planning and policy, made a presentation Monday evening to inform city council and staff about some proposed “near-term changes to improve the transit network within existing resources.”

Emphasizing that TransLink is working with no new funding sources, Savoie said there are eight proposed changes for White Rock bus routes, designed for increased efficiency, decreased travel time and to extend service to areas with high demand.

Savoie said officials will be reaching out to the community in the coming weeks for feedback on the proposed changes.

“Consultation is absolutely vital to a successful plan,” Savoie said. “We want to hear what people have to say.”

Coun. Lynne Sinclair, who described herself as a regular transit user, said she had concerns that expansions in other parts of Metro Vancouver – such as the Evergreen Line – would mean a loss of service for White Rock. Pointing to the C52 community bus as an example, she said frequent changes in bus schedules and routes make it confusing for riders to plan their trips.

“How can you be a regular rider when everything changes every five minutes out here?” Sinclair asked.

“The changes that seem to be in the offing here are almost designed to decrease ridership.”

Coun. David Chesney echoed Sinclair’s sentiment about bus services, noting a “dramatic cut” in community buses throughout White Rock, and the difficulties posed by the reduction to hourly buses that took effect more than a year ago.

He asked the TransLink representative how he travelled to the evening meeting; when Savoie responded that he arrived by car, Chesney said he felt, as a transit user, that is “a problem.”

“With all due respect to our mayor and the mayor of Surrey, when I look around the bus and see Mayor (Wayne) Baldwin and Mayor (Linda) Hepner on the bus, I’ll believe we’re heading in the right direction to having transit improved,” Chesney said.

(Both sit on the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation.)

Baldwin – who lightheartedly noted he had taken the bus that same day – said he felt last year’s cuts had a negative impact on ridership, as buses running hourly make it difficult for users.

“There are a lot of people in this community that really depend on buses and they have a hard time getting around,” he said. “If they miss that bus by one minute, they’re done.”

Baldwin pointed out the various sources of funding the city provides TransLink, noting $2.1 million in property taxes, $375,000 from parking revenue and $120,000 from the federal gas tax.

“That’s a lot of money going to TransLink for the crummy service we get,” Baldwin said.

Savoie said TransLink officials will conduct public consultations in the coming weeks – by means of an online survey, face-to-face discussions and a public forum – and will implement any changes as a result in early 2016.

Just Posted

Crashes pile up as snow blankets Surrey

Up to 10 centimetres of snow is in the forecast

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Former North Delta pastor, son ‘preyed upon shared spirituality’ to defraud investors of $450K: BCSC

BCSC panel publishes financial sanctions against Alan and Jerry Braun, Steven Maxwell

Plan to redevelop former Surrey motel site too dense, says Coun. Pettigrew

Pettigrew: ‘We need to build liveable community with green spaces… not massive zones that are densified’

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Ex-Langley spiritual leader cleared of stock trading allegations

Investors allegedly lost $740,000 investing through a local religious organization.

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read

l -->