Seniors, check out transit system

Today, I had a sore knee. But I also had an itch to get some exercise on a sunny Saturday. I didn’t want to use the car. So I did what I’ve promised myself to do for a long time but always found a reason to put off.

I used public transit.

My bus ride began on the ocean front. The bus came at the moment the schedule said it would. I took it up the hill into town to the Ravensong Pool exchange. After shopping in Qualicum, I took another bus that dropped me within a block of home.

I admit with a bus every hour, going by bus takes some planning. But the fare makes it worth the effort. At $2.50, that’s the price of a coffee. I was delighted to learn that for $5 I could take as many trips on as many buses as I can cram into a day. With a system stretching from Cedar in South Nanaimo at to Deep Bay.

And with that day pass, I could bring my grandchildren along for the ride for free. I’m already planning future budget adventures including using the ferry shuttle for a day in Vancouver. I learned the bus doesn’t leave even if the ferry is late arriving, not until all the passengers have come out. With ferries free for seniors through the week, I could have a day in the city for under $10. Now that’s a bargain!

So why is our amazing intermodal system still such a secret?

“Use it or lose it,” the driver said.

Though she assured me ridership is creeping up, it is not as fast as it might need to be to be protected from future cost cutters. It is the service we’ve advocated for as citizens of this area for years. Now we have it, let’s use it! Most of us look ahead with some fear about maintaining our quality of life, with or without a car, as we age.

This public transit is a godsend. So I encourage my fellow seniors to do what I did and check it out.

Janet Dunnett

Qualicum Beach

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