The hope of a small handful of residents to bring public transit to Saltair is on hold at least for the time being.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District and BC Transit held a public meeting at the Saltair Community Centre last Wednesday to gauge the public’s opinion on the topic.
Approximately 40 people attended to hear more about BC Transit’s service and discuss the possibility of connecting the existing route between Ladysmith and Chemainus to Saltair.
CVRD Area G Director Mel Dorey said public transit in the community wasn’t seen as a necessity because residents had adapted to the car culture.
“There seems to be a little bit of interest but generally people say we don’t need it. We don’t want to pay for it,” he said.
Based on estimates, adding a BC Transit stop in Saltair could be in the range of $17 per $100,000 of home evaluation.
Prior to changes introduced by BC Transit this fall, buses travelled through Saltair between Ladysmith and Chemainus.
Now the route travels along the Trans-Canada Highway.
The meeting was sparked as a result of discussion by a few residents who thought local public transit might be warranted.
A presentation was given at the meeting, attended by both CVRD and BC Transit staff, on the types of services available, but didn’t promote specific transit options for the community.
CVRD transit analyst Erin Annis said the flavour of the meeting was that more follow up wasn’t required at this point in time.
“Based on the commentary that night and subsequent written (correspondence) there doesn’t seem to be a desire to come back at this point to time to have dialogue on specifics for what a service would look like,” said
The second part of Wednesday’s meeting was to discuss a CVRD burning bylaw that could be coming to Area G next year.
Currently, the 2013 bylaw is in place for North Cowichan, Duncan and five of the nine electoral areas.
“We didn’t participate it in because I wanted to see how the other people were making out with enforcing it and living with it,” Dorey said.
However, more recent research by the Vancouver Island Health Authorities on lung and heart conditions resulting from fine particulate matter could lead to it being adopted in the area.
More discussion will take place with Thetis Island residents in 2017.
It will then be discussed by the electoral services and the CRVD board.
“I think the time is right for it,” Dorey said.