Editorial: Transit move shows bad form

B.C. Transit’s move to unveil a new model of community bus last week was ill-timed at best, provocative at worst.

B.C. Transit’s move to unveil a new model of community bus in Victoria last week was ill-timed at best, provocative at worst.

With company management based in Victoria, it probably made logistical sense to hold the press conference in the city, and the accompanying ridealong in the new Vicinity buses.

But at a time when labour strife continues to bubble and inconvenience the public, and local politicians are working toward gaining more authority over decision-making for transit, the timing of last week’s show-and-tell event was definitely questionable.

Some local politicians were furious that B.C. Transit trotted out the new buses on their turf, despite the fact the Victoria Regional Transit Commission has yet to OK the use of five Vicinity buses on routes in the region.

The already delicate relationship between the company and the commission was well illustrated with negative comments from Victoria Coun. Marianne Alto and Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard. The bus unveiling, benign as it might have seemed, simply proved to exacerbate that fractious association.

The bus-riding public is no doubt interested in the type of service that may one day be available to them. At any other time, Transit’s introduction of new vehicles has been met with curiosity and even a certain amount of excitement.

It could be that the commission has, in past, chosen to rubber-stamp the use of specific buses on local routes, choosing to accede to the expertise of B.C. Transit management.

In holding off their approval of the use of more of the smaller community buses, the commission was being sensitive to the current labour dispute. They are well aware that disagreement over how Transit trains and pays drivers to operate such buses is the key sticking point in the dispute.

It would have made more sense, politically, to unveil the buses somewhere else, or perhaps not at all.

Last week’s move only showed that B.C. Transit is willing to start negotiating in the media rather than at the bargaining table.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read