Councillor candidate Mike Smith says Delta has lost the ear of TransLink and the Mayors’ Council.
In a statement sent to media, Smith, who worked as a mechanic with Coast Mountain Bus Company for 28 years and has for the past year been the president of Unifor Local 2200, said there is a lot that could be better about transit in the community.
“I have heard from many people, and I have seen with my own eyes, the ways in which relationships our government needs to maintain and enhance have degraded. Even with demonstrated need for transit expansion and enhancement in Delta, the number of routes and service levels have stayed generally the same,” Smith said in a press release.
“My colleagues running for council, as well as the mayoral candidates, have continued to promote increases in bus service, but frankly the promises being made right now mean nothing without the appropriate infrastructure upgrades to make sure our buses can actually get through the tunnel, over the Alex Fraser, or down 72nd in a timely fashion.”
Smith went on to list a number of improvements he feels Delta really needs:
• upgraded traffic light controls that make moving buses through a priority;
• merge lanes for buses on the highways that run through Delta to keep the buses moving quickly and on time;
• more frequent service on high-load routes and extended service on certain routes where, if buses can’t be taken, pedestrians are forced to walk down dangerous, uncontrolled corridors;
• the proper, full suite of improvements to bus service in the community, not necessarily just more wheels on the road.
“The citizens of Delta deserve a bus system that works for them. We need not just input but advocacy from the highest representatives of our government. We need a voice at the table that will speak loudly for the needs of our region, and I am that voice,” Smith said, citing his experience in the public transportation sector.
“I know what we truly need to do to make our public transportation in Delta meets the needs of our growing community, and its more than just more buses.”
The civic election takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.