Province announces review of B.C Transit

The provincial government is going ahead with an independent review of B.C. Transit

The province is going ahead with an independent review of B.C. Transit, following complaints leveled at the Crown corporation by more than 40 municipalities.

Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced the review – spurred on by concerns of increasing management fees, breakdowns in communication and a lack of funding sources with B.C. Transit – will take place following the Nov. 19 municipal elections.

Municipal representatives, including Joe Stanhope, chairman of the Regional District of Nanaimo, met with Lekstrom Sept. 14, outlining issues and requesting the review.

“There were concerns raised about dialogue,” said Lekstrom. “I think we can do a better job with B.C. Transit, whether it’s on the capital planning side and how our service is delivered.”

Stanhope said the concerns were taken seriously.

“There are a lot of things we don’t like about B.C. Transit and [the review] is exactly what we asked for,” he said. “We’re trying to meet the provincial government’s goals of doubling ridership by 2018, but B.C. Transit management fees continue to increase and jeopardize the plan.”

Representatives from the province, RDN, Union of B.C. Municipalities and B.C. Transit will take part in the review.

Stanhope agreed it was wise to hold the review after the elections.

“Let’s face it, who knows who is going to wind up on top and who is going to be carrying the ball on these things, myself included,” he said.

Joanna Linsangan, B.C. Transit spokeswoman, said the corporation welcomes the review.

“It certainly aligns with our goals of providing effective and efficient service,” she said. “We are going to be working with the province, our municipal partners and the UBCM in identifying ways to improve service.”