Along with the people in Coombs, we here in Qualicum Beach have been advocating for better transit services to and from Nanaimo and Departure Bay. The only way to get to and from the ferries at Departure Bay in a timely manner is by car, and with the rapid development happening all around the Parksville-Qualicum Beach area, it can only mean far more cars on the road as people move into the vast new housing estates that are growing like mushrooms almost overnight.
In order to get around the area from North Nanaimo to Qualicum Beach a car is almost essential, and this is counter-productive in these days of concern about climate change, and, heaven forbid, that the highways and byways will soon reach saturation point causing the headaches we do not wish to share with the Lower Mainland.
A small group of Qualicum Beach residents have approached the transit division of the RDN, pleading for a regular direct user-friendly bus service to and from Departure Bay, meeting every ferry, at a reasonable cost without unnecessary long delays in waiting for connections at Woodgrove.
What happened as a result of this discussion? Services were cut, routes were chopped up with few, if any, direct lines to the ferries, and fares doubled.
We in Qualicum Beach and Parksville are not only badly served by RDN transit, there is an almost complete lack of concern for this area. RDNs transit plans seem to privilege the South Nanaimo area but, out here in the boonies, we still have to rely on cars, filling the roads, and, by the way, what happens when the parking lot at Departure Bay is full and there is nowhere left for foot passengers to park?
Please, Qualicum Beach authorities, advocate on our behalf with your fellow city fathers (and mothers!) in the RDN and put rockets behind them until we get some better, regular, affordable transit in our area seven days a week.