Perhaps transit fees should be raised to pay for transit costs

Let those who use the transit system pay for the transit system

Dear editor,

With regard to C.F. Olsen’s letter re: increasing gas taxes in the Comox Valley to put toward transit expansion.

I am of the opinion that publicly (taxpayer) funded transit is one of the biggest boondoggles ever foisted on the general public.  Forcing taxpayers to dig ever deeper into shrinking pockets to greatly subsidize transit is incredibly unfair.

Olsen is angered by the City of Courtenay considering, not threatening, to withdraw funding for transit. Perhaps there is finally some “Common Sense” surfacing at city hall.

Olsen is a senior “who does not drive and depends on public transit.” As such he/she would not shoulder any of the increased tax of fuel. I wonder if Mr./Ms. Olsen has considered that perhaps it would be more fair to have transit users pay more than the measly 19.7 per cent currently paid by ridership. Would he/she be willing to pay $7.50 rather than the buck and a half it presently costs him/her?

If as a member of the community that can be proud of the transit system, why then is Mr./Ms. Olsen so anxious to place the onus more heavily on the taxpayers and not shoulder his/her fair share?  Based on a 21-day work month, if transit riders were to pay what it costs to operate transit, the cost of that transit would be more than my truck payment, insurance and go a long way towards the gas I use.

The improvements necessary to make our transit service a godsend are far beyond the capacity of any reasonable amount of taxation.

Olsen’s desire to make affordable day trips to Qualicum, Parksville, or Woodgrove mall would further over burden the transit funding. There is a reason Greyhound only runs two buses a day down-island; there aren’t enough riders to make it economically viable.

I would respectfully suggest that Mr./Ms. Olsen and the like take his/her gold-plated wish list and move to Vancouver or Victoria where they already have the taxpayer funded transit service in place. Bon Voyage!

M. Richards



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