We can be proud of our bus service

We can be proud of our bus service Re Stuck in a Moment (editorial, the News February 27): People who attended the city council meeting regarding transit were hardly angry despite the way the meeting was characterized in the newspapers. We expressed ou

Re Stuck in a Moment (editorial, the News February 27):

People who attended the city council meeting regarding transit were hardly angry despite the way the meeting was characterized in the newspapers. We expressed our appreciation for the service and the drivers, described how we used the service and made constructive suggestions to improve the system.

Unlike many people who don’t use transit, bus people are seldom frustrated.

They know how to read a schedule, respect each other and understand that a bus system is not a limousine service. We find it somewhat ironic that those Whitehorse citizens who never use transit are the first to say, in a word, that it sucks.

The Whitehorse transit system is a public service we can be proud of. Those of us who use the system regularly recognize that a city the size of Whitehorse has created an extraordinary transit service that includes seven routes and modern buses that are safe, clean and well maintained.

Transit drivers are unfailingly professional in their work, taking care to ensure the safety and convenience of their passengers. In the six years we have consistently used the system it has never let us down. Kudos to Whitehorse city council for maintaining the system in spite of complaints from whiners and wankers unable to leave their cars at home because the bus system is inconvenient.

We find it amusing that Whitehorse residents with intellectual disabilities, foreign students and visitors, and children are able to read both a bus schedule and a watch, something that seems to be beyond the grasp of the Yukon News editor. We don’t think it is fair to blame the transit system for some people’s dyslexia.

It is the transit users, locals and visitors, who purchase tickets and passes and often pay cash, who subsidize the emergency use of drivers who can’t get their cars started on cold mornings. Hurray for us.

We think it is time for those intermittent users and complainers to pony up their share. If $70 a year from homeowners and businesses would maintain a free transit system, think what $120 a year or $10 a month could do to improve the system. Transit users subsidize the roads, parking lots, snow removal, traffic law enforcement and bylaw officers required to maintain the safety and convenience of drivers who would complain at shelling out $120 a year for free transit because they don’t use the bus.

The bus system benefits all citizens, including those who won’t use it.

Last Saturday morning, 15 people used the 8:20 Takhini route to go to work. That’s 15 vehicles not spewing toxic fumes or taking up huge chunks of ugly, asphalt parking lots. The transit system gets us to school, recreation and work.

We use it to keep appointments, to shop, to socialize. Whitehorse is more than a small town in the middle of a vast wilderness. It is a national and international transportation hub and the centre for northern distribution, education and government and it seems to us unthinkable that such an important capital city would not have a transit system.

A free transit system is an extraordinary idea. Destroying an established public transit system is hardly enlightened thinking, while establishing a user-free transit system on an infrastructure that already exists would make our city the most civilized in the country. Those citizens who cannot bring themselves to use transit, pay for transit, and would rather drive personal vehicles in this day and age are, in a word, dinosaurs. 

Of course no transit system, free or user subsidized, is going to replace personal vehicles. We do suggest, however, that Whitehorse citizens consider the convenience of a free system. Imagine not having to find and pay for parking, imagine being able to go home safely after socializing on Friday after work, imagine teaching your children the value of independent and safe city travel, imagine letting a professional drive while you read, daydream, talk to your neighbour or plan your workday.

It’s easy if you try.

Bernice Montgomery

Bill Polonsky

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read