Commuter bus is a solid idea

The situation for traffic heading into town on the TCH and Island Highway is not getting better

It’s amazing the reactions some people have when a politician tries to do the right thing.

In the hours following the City of Langford’s announcement that it is contracting Wilson’s Transportation to provide a commuter bus service to Victoria, as a way to reduce vehicles in the Trans Canada Highway crawl, social media went crazy with people throwing rocks at the Langtoria Greenline bus idea.

Some pointed fingers at Mayor Stew Young and his council for approving so many developments in the City and promoting unbridled population and traffic growth. Others aimed their arrows directly at the bus concept by saying jurisdictions should be putting more money into transit funding, not some “semi-privatized” system.

But let’s face it, the situation for traffic heading into town on the TCH and Island Highway is not getting better, it’s getting worse. And yes, that problem is exacerbated by the ongoing new development happening on the West Shore and the lack of alternative routes from our area into Victoria. And no plan has been announced for when the McKenzie interchange project gets up and running.

B.C. Transit does pretty well with the resources it is given, but even transit planners must often scratch their heads at the lack of headway being made in terms of encouraging more people to ride the bus into town.

Young is among those who have tried to find ways to alleviate the problem – he has long encouraged government to locate offices in Langford. The Langtoria bus idea may not get people to town any faster than transit, but we predict there will be good takeup on the program, at least at first, from people who want a more exclusive and comfortable ride.

Having long since proven he knows a thing or two about running an operation at a profit, and a municipality with little in the way of tax increases, Young will watch this service closely to ensure City taxpayers aren’t subsidizing those who choose to use the service.

As long as that happens, taking 40 or 50 drivers out of the commute in this way has to be considered a step in the right direction.

Goldstream News Gazette