It would be easy to shut down the trolley

Don Harrison questions the trolley service in Ladysmith.


Channel 6 aired a news item March 4 and 5 regarding our Ladysmith trolley.

This news item was headed up by Rob Johnson and Dan Spence, and it also interviewed a number of citizens regarding their opinion regarding this trolley service.

I must commend Johnson and Spence for their forthright views and honest opinions. They, along with many more puzzled Ladysmith taxpayers, point out the outright folly of this service.

It has been reported from reliable sources that in the beginning, the trolley manufacturer asked the Ladysmith negotiators whether they intended to purchase the trolley (one only at this juncture) or would they rather lease it.

In their exuberance to get the show on the road, our town negotiators assured the trolley manufacturer they intended to purchase.

After the inauguration, it became apparent that there would be breaks in service if the unit purchased was inoperative for whatever reason.

Our town fountain of wisdom then approached the city of Nelson because Nelson had tried this same transportation experiment and it also failed, resulting in their trolley being parked for a number of years. This same fountain of wisdom didn’t ask why Nelson’s system failed; they only saw an opportunity to purchase another trolley as back up. What must the Nelson town fathers think of our Ladysmith negotiators?

At the very beginning of this exercise, I typed up a questionnaire, with a copy for each of our council and mayor. I asked if there was a business plan connected to this venture. I also asked for costs of insurance, operating and maintenance costs, costs of driver wages and perks, and what and where the intended routes would be. The questionnaire was completely ignored, and no answers were given.

Now Ladysmith faces a serious problem regarding what and where do we turn to solve this costly boondoggle. It would be very easy to shut the service down and go back to no service.

This would only be the first step. Now, what will our fountain of knowledge and wisdom suggest should be done with the vehicles? Oh well, maybe Nelson was the winner in this debacle. They at least shunted their trolley off to Ladysmith, Vancouver Island. How they must be smiling.


Don Harrison


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