EDITORIAL: Transit comes at a cost

Credit has to go to the delegations that stood up in front of Vernon city council Monday and made the case for expanded transit

Credit has to go to the delegations that stood up in front of Vernon city council Monday and made the case for expanded transit.

And certainly there is merit to the concept of extending the service from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily to reflect the employment and social needs of the community.

“Buses don’t run on holidays and they don’t run long on Sundays,” said resident Winnifred Hibbert, who collected 3,191 names on a petition seeking more transit.

“We want the working crowd to get to work.”

But the challenge is one of dollars and cents.

The net 2013 budget for transit is $1.2 million — which is already a significant sum of cash coming from city taxpayers (as well as Coldstream and B.C. Transit).

Every time a new bus is needed or drivers are hired, the cost goes up even further.

And the two delegations Monday aren’t the only ones who have turned to the city for additional service. Residents in the Foothills subdivision have been asking for transit for years and there is certainly a need on Middleton Mountain. There also never seems to be enough buses going down the highway to the University of B.C.

It’s highly likely that expanding routes and adding new pickup times will encourage people to park their vehicles at home and hop on the bus, which will positively impact the bottom line. But transit, just as with any public service, will never make a profit. A taxpayer subsidy will always be needed.

So while the benefits to providing more transit are obvious, council has a difficult task of balancing wants and needs with ability to pay.


Just Posted

Coldstream celebrates spring with Easter egg hunt

The family-friendly event takes place Mackie Lake House Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m.

Vernon woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

Vipers win pivotal game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Vipers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters by a score of 5-2 and will look to end the series Saturday night in Trail at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre. Contributed: Vernon Vipers Staff

None injured in small fire near Lumby

“It looks like it was accidental, definitely nothing suspicious.”

Vernon road closed again following landslide

The road that was reopened Thursday morning was closed again Friday following geotechnical engineer report.

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read