Good Friday goes bad for transit rider

When I originally composed this letter it was simply a thank you to the Nanaimo Transit System drivers on Routes #91 and #20. I am a regular rider travelling from our home in Parksville to Departure Bay, taking the BC Ferry to and from Vancouver. I have been making semi-weekly trips to the mainland, with quick turn arounds, caring for an elderly family member on the mainland.

The travel time on top of the effort expended to care for someone takes a toll, so when a driver makes a small but generous gesture it means a lot. Twice of late, drivers on these routes made the simple unsolicited gesture of calling ahead to the connecting bus, having the driver wait just a few minutes, eliminating an otherwise long wait on a chilly day. A simple gesture for sure, but one that will not soon be forgotten by this weary traveller.

That is until… Good Friday. The ferry, because of heavy traffic, is late arriving at Departure Bay, I scurry through the arrival area intent on making my transit connections home to Parksville, only to find there is no bus service. This on a day when extra sailings had been added and additional bus service on the mainland side is needed to ensure everyone makes their ferry.

Yes, in hindsight I might have checked that service would be offered on Good Friday, but it never occurred to me that Nanaimo Transit would not offer regular service or even reduced holiday service but offer no bus service at all. It’s difficult to believe that the decision makers somewhere in an office and the drivers on the road every day with riders who depend on their good service could be working for the same company.

Chris Herbert


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