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Poll says bus riders frustrated by overcrowding and long waits

Mar 01 2012

Greater Victoria residents are frustrated with overcrowded transit buses and long wait times at bus stops, according to a poll commissioned by the bus drivers’ union.

The Canadian Auto Workers Local 333 called on government to improve services in Greater Victoria, saying increased funding and additional buses are long overdue.

Poll results, released Wednesday afternoon, show the majority of respondents (60 per cent) also want to transfer public transit responsibilities from B.C. Transit to the municipalities.

Union president Ben Williams agreed, saying local government could operate the system much more efficiently.

“It would be a system that is more accountable to the people of this region,” he said. “The poll shows that Victoria residents agree that we need more accountability.”

Fifty-one per cent of those surveyed said they experienced overcrowding and 42 per cent said they had long wait times while riding buses.

Poll results do not surprise staff at B.C. Transit. They regularly hear about riders having to wait at stops as several buses pass by because of overcrowding.

“We don’t want pass ups, we don’t want any one left behind, but we have to best manage the resources with the money we have,” said Meribeth Burton, corporate spokeswoman for B.C. Transit.