Decades-requested bus service finally arrives for north Saanich reserve

Tsawout welcomes expanded bus service Jan. 2

Beginning Jan. 2, residents of the Tsawout First Nation will see expanded bus service that will make journeys to Sidney and the Saanichton Exchange shorter and safer.

The new route (82 Saanichton/Sidney via Stautw) will run along Stautw Road, turn on Jimmy Road, then onto Mt. Newton Cross Road. Four new bus stops will also be built.

In an email, Mavis Underwood, a councillor with the Tsawout First Nation, said the service extension “was greeted with relief and a sense of encouragement” after years of work.

She said that she has been petitioning BC Transit to extend service since the early 1980s, when she was an employee of the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board, because adult learners attending Camosun College would have to walk, hitchhike, or carpool in bad weather. That made it hard for them to complete their classes in winter.

“First Nations communities were not being surveyed in those days to assist in developing routes as they were not part of the municipal registry and BC Transit determined that there was no need or ridership in these areas.”

Because of this, the bus used to bypass the reserve entirely. Now, Route 81 stops at the Tsawout administration building, which still leaves some residents to walk long distances back to their homes with narrow shoulders, no sidewalks and ice and snow in the winter. Underwood said this made it difficult for parents with young children as well as teens who needed to get to school, work, sports or recreation.

Underwood also said that the elderly also wanted to access the bus, but feared encounters with traffic on the dark roadways.

More recently, she and other Central Saanich residents presented to the BC Transit Commission with Central Saanich District Councillor Zeb King to lobby for this extension. It was announced in June, though the final locations of the bus stops were only determined on Tuesday. Underwood said she was happy to work with Central Saanich and appreciated the consideration of BC Transit.

King said there would be multiple trips (two, as it turns out, according to BC Transit) per day, which is “not ideal.” King added some people would have an easier time getting to and from work or school.

A formal recognition ceremony will occur Tues., Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Tsawout First Nation Administration Building (7728 Tetayut Rd.) where people can ride the new route.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Snowboarder dies at Mount Washington

A male snowboarder found unresponsive in a treed area on Mount Washington… Continue reading

Sirens don’t sing in tsunami warning for Esquimalt

Officials pleased with process, say sirens would have been activated had threat escalated.

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Hometown Hockey visits the home of the Big Stick

Cowichan hosts Rogers broadcast and accompanying festival

Mount Washington re-opens three lifts after rare closure

Mount Washington partially reopened for business Monday after heavy snowfall forced its… Continue reading

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Vic-Alert faces tidal wave of registration after tsunami warnings

City of Victoria system is free and provides early warnings of disaster

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Delamont plays god for laughs in Nanaimo show

‘God is a Scottish Drag Queen’ coming to VIU’s Malaspina Theatre

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

Most Read