Monday marked a milestone for Barry Kerr.
One and a half years after the Palmer Place staffer first advocated for accessible transit service for his residents, the bus stopped just a stone’s throw away from their home.
The stop is part of the brand-new transit route which serves the We Wai Kai First Nation and the Quinsam River area of Campbellton.
Monday’s inaugural run was a proud moment for the City of Campbell River and the We Wai Kai which worked together to make the new service possible, said Ted Assu, Cape Mudge councillor.
“We’re very happy to get to this point,” Assu said. “Both Campbell River council and Cape Mudge council worked to make life better for our constituents. This is an important step.”
Coun. Ron Kerr agreed.
“This whole area (Quinsam reserve off Highway 19A) now is connected to the grid – they can go downtown and get on a bus to Victoria. They can go to Willow Point, or they can go to Courtenay,” said Coun. Kerr, who added it will also benefit those living in west Campbellton, near the Quinsam River and Haig Brown House.
“I think that area on the other side of Campbellton has not been traditionally served, so this is really going to help. There’s a lot of housing in that area and a lot of kids that walk from that area. I think it’s pretty exciting.”
It’s also exciting news for Barry Kerr and the residents of Palmer Place who, up until now, have had to walk all the way down narrow Willis Road to Petersen Road to catch the bus. Barry said having the new route include a stop at the corner of Nikola and Willis means Palmer Place residents only have to walk to the end of their street, saving them the long walk down Willis in dangerous conditions.
“It’s dark, it’s a narrow shoulder and people still drive like it’s the highway,” Barry said. “A few people have jobs where they don’t get off work until 9 at night. It’s just the safety side.”
Barry said the new route, with the new stop, will save residents from a long walk and improve safety.
“This is a big help for the residents,” Barry said. “It’s great news.”
Alex Baird, a resident of Palmer Place and a frequent transit user, said it will make it easier to get around.
“It will be less of a walk,” Baird said. “It takes me about 10 minutes to walk down Willis.”
The #16 Quinsam route, which went into effect Monday, does four round trips on weekdays from downtown Campbell River to the We Wai Kai First Nation from 7:35 a.m.-4:55 p.m.
In addition, the route has three round trips on Saturdays from 10:45 a.m.-4:55 p.m.
The route begins at the Community Centre, travels down 16th Avenue and turns at Quinsam Road and Campbell River Road, then goes up Nursery Road to the Quinsam Centre before heading back to the Community Centre via Willis Road, Petersen, 16th, and Dogwood.