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qathet Regional District and City of Powell River make pitch for public transit to Lower Mainland

Expanded busing discussed by local governments and transportation minister at Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention
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WANTS IMPROVEMENTS: Busing to the Lower Mainland has been difficult since the Sunshine Coast Connector ceased service between the qathet region and Vancouver. The three local governments are working toward establishing a publicly run service between the destinations.

Local governments were able to make a pitch to the provincial government for improved bus service between the qathet region and Lower Mainland.

At the September 23 qathet Regional District (qRD) board meeting, Electoral Area A director and board chair Patrick Brabazon reported on ministerial meetings the regional district was able to attend as part of the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention.

qRD, City of Powell River and Tla’amin Nation were invited to be part of the meeting with provincial minister of transportation and infrastructure Rob Fleming. Brabazon asked city director George Doubt to report on the meeting.

“The minister listened to us respectfully,” said Doubt. “The city and the regional district participated and made our case. No promises were made but a suggestion was made that we might want, since we’re talking about the qathet area regional transit plan for the future very soon, to get that included in our regional transit long-term plan as they have on the southern coast, and continue to work towards it.

“Other places have been successful in getting support for inter-city transit, like the northern bus service on Highway 16. I think it’s possible but it’s going to require more work from all three local governments and a link with the Sunshine Coast Regional District and First Nations governments down there to make some progress on it.”

Doubt said what he heard from the minister was that it was nice to hear from the delegation and to keep grinding away.

“It might happen in the future if we work hard,” said Doubt.

Brabazon said there are five local governments involved, and the other player is always BC Ferries.

“It’s complicated,” said Brabazon. “Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one.”