A motion that calls on the province to appoint Central Saanich to the single seat to the Transit Commission passed resoundingly at Council on November 14th. This was the first business meeting of the new term.
The motion also informs each of the other peninsula municipalities that Central Saanich is seeking the seat. "I'm hoping that we secure this appointment and can see a strong advocate for transit at the commission." Central Saanich recently brought forward a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities that calls on the province to expand its fare-free transit program from 12 to 13 and under.
UPDATE to the post above (March 2023)
There is news regarding the initiative to get a seat on the Transit Commission. After 11+ years of waiting and calling for our turn to sit at the commission, including a motion I brought forward to send a letter to the province, Central Saanich was finally given its turn. There is now an opportunity, although no guarantee, that the Central Saanich representative will score wins for Central Saanich and the peninsula in relation to transit. The mayor of Central Saanich will represent the three peninsula municipalities and the interests of residents. I am hopeful that he will meet with each community and with the drivers who are interested in communicating their concerns.
Finally, the province got it right to appoint a Central Saanich representative. In 2022 I put forward a motion that went all the way to the Union of BC Municipalities and called on the province to expand its fare-free transit program. The current program makes transit free for those 12 and under. The motion I proposed, which got unanimous support from Central Saanich Council, the Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities members and the Union of BC Municipalities, looked to see the program expand to the next those 13 and under. In part, the logic is that 13 and under would include more middle-school kids and help establish good safe transportation habits.
The province's response to the result of the UBCM's unanimous vote is below. It appears that there is still an opportunity for the expansion of the program, but the current program will be evaluated first. For those who are waiting, let's seek to evaluate the current program and encourage adoption and expansion going forward. Transit for youth provides a safe ride and helps to establish low-carbon transportation habits at an early age.
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