Vision and set of goals developed for Powell River transit system

Exercise conducted by city's climate change mitigation and adaptation committee

A vision and eight goals have been created for the Powell River transit system and city staff have been directed to work with BC Transit on the implementation.

At the City of Powell River council meeting on February 6, councillors were referred to the recommendation regarding the vision and goals, prepared by the climate change mitigation and adaptation committee.

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Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman, who chairs the committee, said the vision for Powell River’s transit system is an efficient, convenient, reliable, accessible and affordable public transit system that is well-used by the community, contributing to a sustainable, vibrant and equitable quality of life in Powell River.

The goals are:

· Grow ridership

· Be direct and connect the community’s key centres

· Work together effectively with other modes of transportation

· Be efficient and cost-effective

· Be safe and accessible to all

· Reduce community greenhouse gas emissions

· Be agile, technologically innovative and customer-focused

· Connect the community from Lund to Saltery Bay, the lower Sunshine Coast, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

“It’s a better than I could ask for list of goals and actions to get us where we need to go, moving forward with transit,” said Leishman.

Mayor Dave Formosa said given the number of seniors the community has, and in some cases, shut-ins who cannot drive, he thinks the whole community is going to come together and come up with good ideas to get those people out of their homes and out into the community.

“Even if it’s only once a week, get them out of the home,” said Formosa.” Even drop them off at the mall and let them go for a walk and socialize, say hello and maybe pick up something they need to pick up. I know councillor [Jim] Palm is working hard on this with the seniors council. The sustainability group is working hard, council is working and the regional district is working hard. There’s a lot going on. If we all work together, we’ll get there.”

Palm said he wanted to directly thank the climate change mitigation and adaptation committee for the fine work it is doing with regard to transportation. He said he was forwarding the information to the qathet Regional District transportation working group.

Palm said he wanted to add that he received a phone call recently from a resident who informed him he had heard through Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) that the bus it used to have, which was involved in an accident, will not be replaced.

“I said I’d get to the bottom of it,” said Palm. “I have yet to do that but I want to make staff aware so we can investigate what has happened.”

Councillor Maggie Hathaway said there was a meeting scheduled with VCH’s board of directors and the topic would be brought up at the meeting.

Councillor George Doubt said he heard the same thing from another individual who is concerned.

“I think it’s been referred to as the Willingdon Creek Village bus,” said Doubt. “I think it is operated by VCH. It’s not the same as the handyDART but the impact of that bus having an accident several months ago has been felt throughout the community. They have been challenged getting around and for people with mobility issues, it has made a difference in their lives. I’d like to see that bus continue. Vancouver Coastal Health should step up and keep it going.”

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