The CVRD board voted to explore a shift to electric buses and an enabling facility for Comox Valley Transit. File photo

The CVRD board voted to explore a shift to electric buses and an enabling facility for Comox Valley Transit. File photo

Comox Valley director explains vote re. bus electrification

I thought it would be good to respond to Ron Kelly’s letter as to why I believe the CVRD board voted overwhelmingly to explore a shift to electric buses and an enabling facility for Comox Valley Transit, while Comox director Ken Grant ended up in a small minority opposing this. What the board agreed to at the July 7 meeting is for BC Transit, at their own cost, to analyze the feasibility and cost/benefit of an electric facility that could house the future Comox Valley electric bus fleet. The CVRD board could then receive the report, weigh the pros and cons, and consider whether to partner with BC Transit.

In context, following up on public transit infrastructure grants that can pay up to 80 per cent of capital costs, the federal government is about to unleash a $3 billion/year fund for public transit starting in 2026, with some of the key goals being to lower greenhouse gas emissions and support rural communities. BC Transit itself has committed to full fleet electrification by 2040. To not let BC Transit explore the potential for the Comox Valley to shift to electric in the years ahead would be a missed opportunity, and arguably shortsighted.

Perhaps that is why eight out of 10 directors voted in favour of letting BC Transit proceed with further analysis, at zero cost or immediate commitment to the CVRD. There is no doubt that the transit of today does not meet the needs of the Comox Valley, but to watch the world pass us by while maintaining the status quo is no solution.

Daniel Arbour,

Area A director

Comox Valley Regional District

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