Reliance on data obtained by Compass Card users fails to indicate reliance on shuttles

LETTER: Not always about the bottom line


I am writing this letter to voice my concerns regarding the issue of reduced service on community shuttle buses.


I am writing this letter to voice my concerns regarding the issue of reduced service on community shuttle buses.

I had just moved to the White Rock area from the East Coast at the beginning of August and was thrilled that this wonderful commuter service was available.

Shortly after, I was shocked to see the signs of the reduced service posted on bus-stop poles and wondered how the ‘powers that be’ come to the conclusion that this service needed to be reduced. Certainly not by riding the shuttle buses and observing the seniors, tourists, workers, moms and schoolchildren that use this service!

And if they relied on the Compass Card information to base their decision on – as I was told by one bus driver – well, it’s not really accurate.

I was told that the purpose of ‘tapping’ when you get on and off the bus is supposed to provide data as to how often and where this transit service was used.

During my frequent use of the shuttle buses, only twice did I see anyone tap off when they left the bus. I myself was not aware of these instructions until a fellow senior commuter pointed it out. I have forgotten at least 90 per cent of the time, and almost no one taps off upon exiting.

It’s hard to base decisions on data which is not accurate.

Since moving here, I have realized that White Rock is a city of extreme slopes and steep roads, all in a concentrated area. This is not typical of other TransLink service areas and should be a factor in decision-making.

It is extremely difficult for commuters to navigate and very slippery when wet.

It takes a bit of finesse on the commuter’s part to co-ordinate schedules to get to their destination in a decent amount of time. With these new schedules, it is more difficult to make connections, and the buses are fuller. A missed connection now is not just over an hour wait, but can translate to a missed appointment – some with monetary penalties, such as medical appointments.

A lot of commuters are seniors who rely on this service. It is their way of being independent, shopping, going to medical appointments and having a social life. After all, a lot of these seniors paid taxes and helped build White Rock. Now, they no longer drive due to health restrictions but are fiercely independent. They also support the restaurants, grocery stores, shops, hair salons, etc.

Tourists also seem to be here year round, peaking in the spring, summer and autumn months.

Cutbacks of this nature restrict the flow of economy.

One of my personal observations: While riding on one of the shuttle buses on an extremely hot day back in September, the bus did not stop for an elderly female senior with a walker, as the bus was full. I was told the buses are not allowed to have standing passengers.

I ran into this senior on a later occasion at a bus stop, and she said she had to wait two hours in the heat before she was able to get on a bus.

I realize this decision to reduce schedules was based on some type of statistical data regarding ridership, however, beyond the paper facts, there is a humanity involved – the same people who create a wonderful place to call home and attract others to visit this wonderful, charming little city.

Sometimes it’s not about ‘bottom-line’ decisions but doing what is morally right.

Christine Branker, White Rock



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

Just Posted

Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

Tejwant Danjou was convicted of second-degree murder in the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in West Kelowna

New collective debuts with Crescent Beach show

Nela Hallwas and Lyn Verra-Lay team for ‘Flow’

‘Lifting Hands’ mural on White Rock wall celebrates community’s COVID efforts

High school students, grads inviting health-care workers, emergency crews to add handprints

Former students’ mural showcasing Delta elementary school’s new logo on hold, for now

Ashriya and Karam Purewal painted the spirit logo last spring; formal logo mural delayed due to COVID

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read