For the many foot passengers who travel on the Duke Point ferry service, especially those coming from the Mainland, finding a ride to the nearest city is difficult.
The Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking to make it a little easier.
There are no public buses that travel from Duke Point. The only choice anyone has is to either take a taxi, which could be costly, get someone to come and pick you up or hitch a ride to town. It makes it extremely hard for those travelling either north or south of the Island from Duke Point.
It is also a concern for many people that work in the Duke Point Industrial Park area. There is no other alternative but to drive their own personal vehicles to get there.
But that could change. The RDN has received a request to extend BC Transit services to Duke Point.
Philippe Lucas, vice president of Tilray, raised the issue at the RDN’s Transport Select Committee meeting in March. It has garnered strong support from elected officials that include Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcomson, Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog and Cowichan-Ladysmith MLA Doug Routley, all of whom sent letters to the RDN.
“If there was ever an appropriate extension of bus service, then extending it to Duke Point is certainly a very logical step,” Krog stated in his letter. “In Europe and other parts of the world, no one would expect to come off a public transportation system like a ferry and not be able to get onto a bus or some other form of public transportation linking you with the most significant urban centre nearby, or taking you to other forms of transportation, i.e airports etc.”
The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance have also sent letters of support.
RDN staff has been directed by the board of directors to look into the request for transportation services to Duke Point and provide a report to the Transit Select Committee.