No changes planned in spite of bus petition

Almost 10 months after riders on the #7 bus from Duncan to Lake Cowichan raised objections to alterations in the route, no changes have been made to address their concerns and none will be coming.

"So what you have here is a frustrated bus rider," said Henry Landry of the Buddhist Nichiren Peace Centre, which is located on Johnny Bear Road, once serviced by the #7. The changes that went into effect last October turned the #7 6:35 p.m. bus into an express bus that takes Highway 18 instead of Cowichan Lake Road.

The route along Cowichan Lake Road includes stops at many intersecting roads along the way.

"There’s people that go to the library, there’s people that are working," Landry said in the fall. "It’s a pretty important route and we’d like to see it re-established."

To that end, Landry, along with help from fellow rider Rick Lobb, launched a petition, collecting about 350 signatures in support of changing the bus route back to how it was.

Landry also attended meetings at the Cowichan Valley Regional District, where he made presentations to officials.

He was told that BC Transit officials would consider the matter, after conducting consultations. BC Transit conducted on-board and online customer surveys in late February and early March of this year. There were 298 responses.

Landry said all these months later all he sees is a waste of taxpayer dollars, a bureaucracy that doesn’t want to admit it made a mistake, and no changes coming to correct the error. Action will not be forthcoming, BC Transit confirmed. "At this time, there are no further changes planned," said John Barry, manager of corporate and online communications in an email. "Any potential changes to routes or trip times would need to be cost-neutral, and subject to available funding. BC Transit will continue to consult with the CVRD on these considerations."

BC Transit and the Cowichan Valley Regional District did acknowledge that survey respondents did indicate a preference for some changes, including the #7 route.

"Early results show a need to consider improving the weekend trip times/frequencies on Routes 8 and 9, but further investigation is required to see if this is feasible and whether Route 7 trip times at the end of the day Monday to Thursday can be reconfigured to service the old road (via Gibbins) later at night," A report from the Facility, Fleet Transit Management Division Engineering Services Department states, though it goes on to say that no recommendations about service changes are being made at this time due to cost concerns.

Landry remains convinced the change he and the petitioners are seeking would take only a tweak or two to the schedule, not wholesale changes that would be difficult for BC Transit. The whole thing is an example of "government for the government by the government", he said.

"This would have been so easy to fix and they just made a big bureaucratic mess," Landry said.

People haven’t forgotten about it and still want to see action.

"I still get people stopping me at London Drugs and Superstore asking me ‘are the changes coming?’," he said.

Just Posted

Hometown Hockey visits the home of the Big Stick

Cowichan hosts Rogers broadcast and accompanying festival

North Cowichan raising stink over foul odours

Smell from Chemainus facility an issue for years

Find Your Fit at WorkBC tour in Duncan Jan. 23

Event to be held at Cowichan Secondary School

Cowichan wrestling camp kicks off New Year

Camp attracts wrestlers from Valley, Victoria and Mainland

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Most Read