The future of the Ladysmith Connector, a private transit company, could be riding on a petition requiring a minimum of 1,600 signatures, or 20 per cent of the population of Ladysmith.
Lyle Jordan, owner of Emergency First Aid Services, the company looking to run the Connector, said the petition is necessary to strengthen their licensing application.
“Where we’re facing our ultimate challenge is with the government,” he said.
“We need to show a valid public urgent need… the government doesn’t just want to overrun the province with private transport companies.”
The service, which was announced in early August, will provide transit from Ladysmith to Nanaimo and Duncan and points in between via a seven passenger, wheelchair-accessible bus. Service is still scheduled to begin September 15.
Jordan held a community meeting about the Connector on August 15.
“We didn’t have a lot of people show up but the ones that did made some very good points,” he said. “They are really concerned about the environmental impact and that’s something we’re continuing to work on.”
The company is also looking into the possibility of providing service to Chemainus.
As the projected start date for service rolls closer, Jordan said he would like to continue to hear more local ideas and opinions for an efficient service.
“We’ve had nothing but support from those people that come out and those people who send me email upon email,” Jordan said. “We haven’t encountered anybody that has said no to this.”
The petition is available for signature at the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.
Letters of support can also be sent to email@example.com