Editorial: Riding the Rossland bus

With Transit BC currently undertaking a transit service review of the Greater Trail Transit System, it felt like it was time for a bus ride.

On Friday I took my first bus ride in Rossland.

Transit BC is currently undertaking a transit service review of the Greater Trail Transit System, and I was curious to take thesystem for a test drive, as I’ve been driving my car since I arrived in town over four months ago.

I had no particular reason to want to go to Trail that afternoon, but that seemed like the best (only?) trip to make, so I headedout to Columbia Ave. to jump on a bus.

What I found was that my trip was pretty uneventful once I’d gotten on the bus, but that figuring out when and where to geton the bus was a tad confusing.

Headed to downtown Rossland, I at least knew where I wanted to get on the bus, but since both downtown Rossland stops arecalled Columbia/Spokane I somehow got the times confused and showed up to watch the bus go by the other way, which leftme with around 30 minutes to kill while I waited for the bus I wanted.

In downtown Trail, I got the time right, but had trouble finding the stop.

As a city slicker this was frustrating because it all seemed so avoidable. Why couldn’t I just go stand at a bus stop and text toget the time the bus was coming like I could in Vancouver?

The answer is pretty obvious. When buses sometimes come as far apart as an hour and a half, you don’t just go stand on theside of the road and hope for the best.

As someone who’s only recently left behind frequent bus service (but who also grew up with it), I have to say I really didappreciate it.

Since I’d gone all the way down to Trail, I decided to make the most of it and do a little shopping in the downtown area, butby the time I was finished I’d missed the bus back to Rossland by 15 minutes, and then had an hour to kill (part of which Iused to find out where the bus stop was).

I wasn’t in any particular hurry that day, so I just went and found a place to warm up and have something to drink, but I hateto think what would have happened if I’d been depending on transit to get me to work on time, or even to get me home at theend of a long work day.

From my previous experience growing up in small town BC, I know that’s when the desperate phone calls usually begin.

All in all, I’m very glad I brought my car to the Kootenays.

 

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