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Victoria councillor challenges policymakers to stick to the bus for a week

Click to play video: 'Victoria councillor challenges colleagues to take public transit' Victoria councillor challenges colleagues to take public transit
A Victoria city councillor is challenging his fellow councilors to only use public transit for a full week. Kylie Stanton explains why – Nov 7, 2019

Should the people who make decisions about the transit system be compelled to use it?

One Victoria city councillor thinks so, and is challenging his colleagues to give it a go.

Coun. Sharmarke Dubow wants to see the capital region’s local government and elected officials and members of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission pledge they’ll take transit as their sole mode of transportation for a full week.

READ MORE: Free transit for youth scrapped for residents outside Victoria despite city program

“By walking in the shoes of those who rely on transit to get to work and essential services every day, those responsible will understand what it feels like to wait for a bus that’s late or to miss a bus connection that derails your entire trip,” states Dubow’s motion.

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Free youth transit axed for Greater Victoria – Aug 15, 2019

Dubow argues that bolstering the transit system is essential to the capital region’s climate plans, cuts down on infrastructure costs and leads to a safer, healthier population.

However, he says transit ridership growth is tied to fast, frequent and reliable service.

READ MORE: BC Transit gets $79M funding for new buses, 10 of them electric

That’s something that doesn’t always happen, though the flaws may not be so visible to decision makers who commute by car.

“The user experience of transit is essential,” states Dubow’s motion.

“City councillors, transit officials and Victoria Regional Transit Commission members are responsible for providing transit services to Victoria residents.

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“Therefore, they should experience this service firsthand to gain a better understanding of the service quality and the user experience.”

READ MORE: Victoria approves free public transit for young residents starting in fall

Dubow’s motion wouldn’t force officials to take the bus, but he argues pledging to do so would show the public that elected officials genuinely care about service quality.

The motion also calls for those who do stick to the bus to report back with their experiences.

Victoria city council will debate the idea at at a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday.

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