Coun. Sharmarke Dubow has filed a motion asking elected officials in the capital region to take transit as their sole means of transportation for one week. (File contributed/ City of Victoria)

Victoria councillor challenges elected officials to use public transit for a week

Only taking the bus for a week will give more insight into what needs to be done, Dubow says

Since the city continues to urge residents to take the bus more it’s about time, one councillor says, to make sure elected officials are taking the bus themselves.

Victoria City Coun. Sharmarke Dubow drafted a motion coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday asking elected officials in the capital region to use BC Transit as their sole means of transporation for an entire week.

ALSO READ: BC Transit launches GPS bus tracking system across Greater Victoria

“A good chef always tastes their own food; city council has a direct role in transit in providing bus lanes, bus shelters and has a major role in advocacy for transit funding,” Dubow said. “So, council really needs to experience the system first-hand.”

A similar motion was put forward in Ottawa in February and was accepted by 17 councillors, many of whom found the expereince frustrating due to missed connections and crowded vehicles.

Dubow, who is a transit rider himself as well as a member of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, said he’s noticed some issues as well.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria, BC Transit yet to develop finalized youth transit passes

“I noticed service delays. For [council] to right this would be a good indication of a commitment to funding to keep up with the service demands.”

Taking the bus would also give councillors the opportunity to have conversations with fellow commuters and frontline workers, and to lead by example, Dubow said.

After the week of ridership, it would be ideal if CRD councillors could share their experiences, either in a meeting or simply through social media.

The motion will be discussed on Thursday, Nov. 7.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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