EDITORIAL: Catch the 22 bus

It's difficult for decision makers to determine the real need for increased transit service in Parksville Qualicum Beach

It’s a classic Catch-22.

How can the Regional District of Nanaimo justify the expense of better and more frequent bus service to communities in and around Parksville Qualicum Beach if there is no evidence of ridership to show its need?

But isn’t the ridership low because of the spotty, or non-existent, service?

It’s no real surprise a recent RDN survey revealed transit as the issue people are least satisfied with in terms of what the RDN supplies (see reporter Candace Wu’s story in this issue of The NEWS).

Imagine, if you will, being a 14 or 15 year old — or a senior who no longer drives, or a one-car family whose bread-winner has the vehicle all day — living in Nanoose Bay, Errington, Coombs, Whiskey Creek, Qualicum Bay, Bowser or Deep Bay. Most of those places have little or no bus service and that’s a considerable amount of people.

You are stuck. Or you bike. Or you walk, if you can. Or you continuously try to bum a ride. None of these options are all that great.

We, as a society, keep talking about reducing our carbon footprint. Oh yeah, we talk a good game, like the two women we witnessed on the ferry recently who climbed out of their older model, gas-guzzling SUV that sported all sorts of bumper stickers suggesting we must do everything in our power to stop pipelines, stop work in the oilsands, etc. etc.

There are buses now that burn cleaner fuel, but cash-strapped regional governments don’t have the resources to stretch their transit systems away from the most heavily-populated centres. This does nothing to reduce the amount of cars on the road.

There has to be some solutions to this quandary. A better organized car-pooling system through social media (the Errington Free Riders Association? Coombs Cars for Kids?) could be an answer. A bigger-picture answer would be to have more services available close to home (a major expansion of the West Errington Mall?) so people can walk. Not sure how that would work, however.

Then again, there is this train of thought: like those who live on Gulf Islands and complain about the ferries, didn’t the people who moved to these remote locations do so to stay away from the bustle of bigger communities, which includes transit? Just asking.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station burned to the ground after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Stanley Fischer, right, died while in a Victoria police jail cell hours after he was arrested on Nov. 15, 1981. (Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer)
Victoria police not reopening investigation into man’s 1981 death while in custody

Stanley Fischer’s death was ruled a suicide after he was found in his jail cell

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Most Read