Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 interesting articles from the Goldstream Gazette

I find the increase in bus riders an interesting change. I wonder how this will pan out in the fall and how much of a change there is in Vancouver.

I also interested in knowing which routes in Victoria have had the biggest increase.

Fuel prices boost bus ridership

By Edward Hill - Goldstream News Gazette

Published: July 17, 2008 1:00 PM

High gas prices are finally prompting more people to hop the bus, says Ron Drolet, senior vice-president of BC Transit.

Transit saw a 11 per cent increase in ridership in late June as compared to a year earlier, after gas prices began their upward march in April. Typically, it takes a few months for pain at the pump to push people out of their cars — April only had a four per cent increase.

“We see growth every time there is a significant run up in retail gas, but there is a lag,” Drolet said. “(Early June) had normal weather. There was no intensive marketing. Obviously people are reacting to the retail prices. We’ll see if that holds true now that were at the lofty level of $1.50.”

BC Transit is planning to add 24 buses to the fleet and 60,000 service hours this September, the largest increase in Greater Victoria since the “heyday” of 1994 Commonwealth Games, Drolet said.

Where last year’s transit increases focuses on West Shore routes, this year it will be on the Saanich Peninsula, specifically the Royal Oak area.

Colwood OKs CRD climate plan

By Amy Dove - Goldstream News Gazette

Published: July 17, 2008 1:00 PM

With safeguards in place for taxpayers, Colwood council is officially supporting the Capital Regional District’s climate action plan.

The plan, which needs support from all 13 member municipalities, will see one person hired to oversee several projects.

These include a regional emission survey, ways to make buildings more energy efficient and assistance for smaller communities in finding grants.

Expected to cost $200,000 annually, Colwood councillors originally balked at the idea because it lacked an opt out clause if the service was unsatisfactory, as well as a cap on costs.

“Council unanimously supports this. We just wanted a few controls,” said Mayor Jody Twa.

“This shows we can have an opt out clause (on various CRD functions),” added Coun. Ernie Robertson.

The CRD board added Colwood’s requests to its climate action bylaw last week. In order for those two items to be added the rollout of the service has been delayed by at least six months, said Dwayne Kalynchuk, CRD environmental services general manager.

Each municipality will have to vote on the bylaw again before it can be enacted. Colwood was the only council which reserved support the first round.


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