Ladysmith council would like to see bus link to Nanaimo

After reviewing Cowichan Valley Region Transit Future Plan, councillors ask to see timing of link to Nanaimo moved ahead.

Ladysmith councillors are hoping BC Transit and the Cowichan Valley Regional District will look into offering bus service into Nanaimo in the next five years.

Ladysmith council reviewed the Cowichan Valley Region Transit Future Plan Sept. 4. The plan was developed by BC Transit in partnership with the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and approved by the CVRD board of directors in March.

The plan envisions the region’s transit network 25 years from now and describes what services, infrastructure and investments are needed to get there.

“The plan was designed to create a stronger link between local planning goals, land use and transit planning, support the key initiatives of BC Transit’s Strategic Plan and support the Provincial Transit Plan,” Manuel Achadinha, president and CEO of BC Transit, wrote in a letter to council that accompanied the report.

The plan calls for the introduction of inter-regional service to Nanaimo as a medium-term priority to be implemented in the next six to 15 years, and councillors want to see that moved ahead.

The vision of the Cowichan Valley Region Transit Future Plan is a regional transit system that “connects people and communities through cost-effective, convenient, safe and accessible transit services.” The goals are to make transit an attractive transportation alternative to the private vehicle, reduce the community’s impact on the environment and make the transit system more efficient.

Network priorities in the short term for the next five years include introducing transit service within Ladysmith and Electoral Area G, improving the frequency of weekday service, improving evening and weekend service, and improving the inter-regional service to Victoria. Introducing transit service in Ladysmith would entail establishing a Ladysmith transit terminal and transit stops.

Looking ahead in the next six to 15 years, the Future Transit Plan calls for reconfiguring Duncan and North Cowichan transit services to introduce an urban circulator service and create more direct neighbourhood routes; reconfiguring South Cowichan transit services; introducing inter-regional service to Nanaimo; continuing to enhance inter-regional service to Victoria and extending the hours of operation on the Local Transit Network. The plan calls for improving Ladysmith services by enhancing neighbourhood services within the town,  introducing direct service between Duncan and Ladysmith and studying the feasibility of paratransit services in North Oyster.

In the long term, service implementations called for 15-plus years from now include expanding service to new service areas in South Cowichan, North Cowichan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan to support future development; increasing regional and neighbourhood service frequency and span of service over time to support increased population densities in town and village centres; and continuing to enhance inter-regional service to Nanaimo and Victoria.

Councillors voted unanimously to send a letter to BC Transit requesting a revision to change the implementation of an inter-regional service to Nanaimo from medium-term to short-term so that it begins in the next five years.

“I’m kind of boggled by the fact that we’re getting direct feedback from people in the local area that they would prefer a north route in a timely matter, but they don’t seem to have taken that into account,” said Coun. Steve Arnett.

Coun. Jillian Dashwood was in favour of  letting BC Transit know the town is interested in a link to Nanaimo to give youth a chance to take transit to university and to make other connections for local residents.

“I think it’s really important they know we are supportive of that,” she said. “I think six to 15 years doesn’t help our community grow in a sustainable way if people have to leave town. If we were to move some of that sort of stuff forward, our kids can stay here, and it makes it much more sustainable.”

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read