The Ladysmith Trolley was one of the items on the mayor’s public meeting agenda last Tuesday.
He told us the reason the town looked at getting a trolley was because Ladysmith was the only town in the western communities of a comparable size that didn’t have a transit system.
To which I say, so what? We are now probably the only town that has a bus running around empty for 10 hours a day.
The mayor himself said the average ridership is 8.4 passengers an hour which means that at any one time the bus might carry at most one or two people. Yes, OK, there is a little blip when a few students use it.
The bus like any small business needs time to grow, the mayor says. If ridership is at 8.4 riders after nearly two years, there doesn’t seem much hope for more in the future. Now the council is starting a fare system in the fall: $1 for kids and seniors, $2 for everybody else, regardless of distance travelled it seems. So the question is, if nobody rides a bus that is free to ride now, who is going to pay to ride it?
Time to cut our losses and admit that, as good an idea as it may have seemed at conception, it has proved to be a non-starter. There is just no reason to ride the bus in Ladysmith. It’s just not convenient.