I get frustrated when I read misinformation about Penticton Transit in letters to the editor. As a regular transit user, I know that there is room for improvement in Penticton’s transit service. But then, could we not also say this about many aspects of our community and our personal lives?
As long as we live in a car-oriented culture, public transit will never be the best mode of travel. Of course, it has to be cost-effective, along with the political will to make it so. As long as corporations and banks continue to be bailed out with our tax dollars, and wars are funded with public tax dollars and taxation is not based on a fair system, I believe that we will continue to see a pittance spent on public transit.
Nonetheless, as a user of Penticton’s transit, I am able to get around without undue hardship. With my trusty Riders’ Guide, and very helpful bus drivers, I am thankful for what we have. While it did take me approximately 6-8 months to “learn” the system, to know how to get from point A, to B and possibly C, then back to A, it has all been doable. The latest letter stated that we have no weekend or night service. A quick peak at the Riders’ Guide will show that writer that neither is true.
All the buses (numbers 1 to 5) run Monday to Saturday, during the daytime. We also have a night bus service (Monday to Saturday), that, while there’s room for improvement, does provide service. Penticton’s Sunday service needs to improve, as well as providing statutory holidays service (which is none, except during tourist time in July and August), but the best way to improve any service, is to use the service.
Remember, that while Penticton buses look as though they are running empty, they are not empty. Penticton has a busy transit system, with lots of walkers, scooters, wheelchairs, strollers and shopping carts, with passengers getting on and off all the time.
Please, don’t judge an empty bus as being empty all the time. Did you see the bus when it was busy a few blocks back? My most wonderful learning experience in using the transit has been to slow down my life, talking to people and making new friends on the buses or while waiting for a bus. Thanks Penticton for a public transit system, and thanks to Berry & Smith Trucking for managing the system, and thanks to the bus drivers for a punctual, courteous, caring and safe service.