Kudos to Powell River City Council and the newly minted Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Committee (CCMAC) on their work in developing a transit vision and goals for our community [“Process leads to vision and goals for transit in Powell River,” January 20].
One of the goals in the plan was to work effectively with other modes of transportation. Being two ferry rides removed from Metro Vancouver we are in a unique situation when it comes to public transportation. Greater integration of the transit and ferry systems would improve this situation immensely.
[City sustainability planner] Ana Lukyanova is right in stating that the planning could have reached beyond the city. As councillor Doubt commented, the visions and actions need to extend to the regional level. qathet Regional District should involved in this promptly so the regional vision can be incorporated into document.
A very simple, effective and cost-efficient service could be provided in cooperation with the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD). In order to provide through transit service between Powell River and Metro Vancouver only a small gap on the north end of the lower coast needs to be filled. At present, our Stillwater bus route serves Saltery Bay by request twice daily on weekdays. The SCRD system has a Halfmoon Bay service that runs five times daily, Monday to Saturday. During the summer this route extends to Secret Cove. This service could be modified to run to Earls Cove to provide ferry connections. Some cooperative planning by the two regional districts and BC Ferries could see us develop this service in a short timeline.
This approach would be much preferable to running a stand-alone service with a bus running from Powell River to Langdale. It would be cost effective as there would be no fares to pay for the bus and no wages to pay the driver for sitting on the ferry. It would also combine local and through-passenger loads on one bus instead of two.
As well as providing good transit access to Powell River, the impact of vehicle traffic from the ferries would be reduced by helping to shift car drivers to transit.
Let’s take this wonderful City of Powell River vision and grow it into great interregional plan.
Tim Larsen, McLean Road