SENIORS IN FOCUS: Summergate resident wants more buses

Diana Hughes Gough wants more bus service elsewhere in west Sidney

Sidney’s Diana Hughes Gough presented a 400-name petition to B.C. Transit in February

Summergate Village resident Diana Hughes Gough says she thinks the bus interchange at the McTavish Road roundabouts are dangerous and she wants more service elsewhere in west Sidney.

Hughes Gough recently complied 400 names on a petition that she presented to a meeting of B.C. Transit in February. That petition is demanding better service, including more buses in her neighbourhood and throughout the industrial area of west Sidney.

Last year, she ran a similar petition, garnering some 200 names. She hopes that doubling the count this time, as well as an appear to the council of the Town of Sidney might spark some action.

“When I first moved out to Summergate Village, the bus service was great,” Hughes Gough said. “The buses out there were great and Steve Price (a Sidney councillor) got us another bus shelter.”

Since the McTavish interchange and park and ride went in, she said, the level of service has changed — fewer buses and less direct service into Victoria.

While Hughes Gough said she’s still happy with bus transportation into Brentwood Bay and Sidney, she finds it less convenient to go into Victoria and has stopped using the bus to a great extent.

These days, she said she relies more and more on her scooter to get around.

“The problem is the exchange,” she said. “It can be scary for a lone person.”

Plus, she said, she find sit difficult to get on a bus to Fifth Street in Sidney and transfer to a different route that would take her into the city.

While she agrees that for most people, making the transfers and waiting at the park and ride is probably not that big a deal. However, for older people, it can be intimidating waiting for an extended period of time, in places where she said there appears to be little security.

“So many of us have stopped using the bus. It’s just too complicated.”

On Feb. 4, Hughes Gough started her petition. She said she had the 400 names in only two days and took the results to B.C. Transit on Feb. 19.

“I didn’t really expect to hear anything back,” she said, adding there’s another meeting on March 19 that she might attend.

She said she hopes more bus service returns to her neighbourhood — or at least in the Greenglade and industrial park areas of Sidney — and a direct route into Victoria makes a comeback.

“Why am I doing this?” she said. “If nobody says anything, nothing will be done.”