Province orders review of B.C. Transit

Third-party process will likely begin post-election

B.C.’s minister of Transportation and Infrastructure has ordered B.C. Transit to undergo an independent third-party review.

“It will examine the transit-system operations and performance, governance and local government consultation and communication processes, as well,” Blair Lekstrom said Wednesday.

In recent months, mayors throughout the province banded together to lobby the province for the review, amidst their growing concern that the Crown corporation cannot be counted on for transparency, accountability and adequate communication.

“(The review) is a significant step,” said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard, who was among several mayors and municipal staff members who raised their concerns with Lekstrom in September.

The review will address funding formulas and governance, which Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said will highlight the need that local control of transit move from the Victoria Regional Transit Commission to the Capital Regional District.

“I think it’s important that we have regional transportation planning (rather than a transit commission) and if we can move it to the CRD that’ll be extremely important to us,” Fortin said.

The review also provides an opportunity for a discussion on new funding sources for transit projects, said Fortin, who sits on the commission.

In response to the minister’s decision, B.C. Transit said it welcomes the review.

“It aligns with our goals of continuously improving operations and providing effective and efficient service across the province,” said Joanna Linsangan, B.C. Transit’s manager of communications. “We expect that this review will confirm our strengths and suggest ways to better meet the needs of our partners and customers.”

Local governments are pleased they will be able to provide input on the design and scope of the review.

“We didn’t want him to just agree to a review and then we not be a part of it and have it pop out at the other end,” said Leonard, who also sits at the commission table.

The process will begin with the development of the review’s terms of reference before the actual review gets underway, likely after the Nov. 19 municipal election.

“We will try and do it as quickly as we can,” Lekstrom said.

Concerned mayors will also come together post-election to discuss how they envision the review unfolding, Leonard said.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Updated: Council offers new information on Sandown plan

Council to make final decisions in fall

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Saanich could become the new home of the world’s largest gnome

Galey Farms could find out Tuesday whether it will host the eight-metre-tall structure

Cowichan man sells smashed Jeep

Calling it a ‘niche market’

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read