Public transit provides so much more than just transportation. It enriches lives, offers equal access to employment and recreation, and helps create opportunities for residents to maintain or increase their overall quality of life, all while working towards reducing traffic congestion and lowering our community’s carbon footprint. In 2021, the City and BC Transit searched for residents to share their stories - how transit changed their lives for the better.
These are their stories:
My name is Haley and I started taking the bus to work in June 2020, after returning to the office after working from home for the 2 months prior due to COVID.
By seeing the savings evolve over the 2 months by not paying for gas, parking downtown, & downgrading my insurance to pleasure only was enough for me to take the bus! My work has a program that pays for our transit pass if it is our main way to/from work - so I definitely took advantage!
Not only has it saved me money, but it has made me more active by waking more each day!
6 months later I’m still taking the bus & loving it! I’ve never looked back.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday Mel boards the 12:40 #1 Tranquille bus which takes him to his volunteer job at the Mount Paul Community Food Centre. The centre serves the community some four thousand meals a month. Mel’s supervisor Christina says, “it takes a considerable number of volunteer hours and without the people power to make this possible, it would be hard to provide the services that we currently offer.”
Without the services that Transit Kamloops offers, Mel would be unable to support the centre. Mel is legally blind having lost ninety-eight percent of his vision to retinitis pigmentosa.
He relies on Transit Kamloops to get him safely and in a timely manner to his job. A job that enhances his quality of life. This job means a great deal to Mel. It is an opportunity to be of service, to network, socialize and provide meaning and satisfaction.
Christina says, “Mel is always full of joy when he walks through the door and his passion for helping others shines through all he does, including connecting families facing food insecurity to the Food Centre. Having volunteers who advocate for good food for all is amazing.”
Mel’s use of the Transit Kamloops bus extends far beyond the ride. It is exponential in that it touches the lives of thousands in our community. Because Mel benefits from Transit Kamloops, we all benefit.
We have not been in Kamloops very long but since moving here, we really appreciate the transit service that is offered. We live out in the Dallas area and see transit buses on their regular routes go by on Dallas Rd just like clockwork. And of course, we see transit buses all over the Kamloops area.
A number of months ago I had had a health problem and was unable to drive for a few months which left just my husband doing all the driving for both of us. One day he had to take our car in for repairs leaving him with the problem of how to get home. With most neighbours working and hating to bother others, my husband had no way of getting back home as the car had to be in the repair shop for a couple of days. Taking a cab of course was a possibility but as retirees, this would have been a higher expense.
Normally it would be no problem as I would take our pickup along and he would have a ride back home. Remembering the local bus service locally, he called Transit about a schedule and was given a time and bus stop close by, by a very friendly, helpful young woman.
He was so pleased that he was able to catch the bus downtown and relax as he was driven back to Dallas and home. Since then, we have both caught the bus at different times giving us the freedom to travel where we want in this area without having to worry about parking or fighting the traffic. We have been very pleasantly surprised with how new the buses are, how very clean they are kept, comfortable and with very pleasant and helpful drivers. Also, we have toured areas we might never have gone through on our own as they go through different neighbourhoods picking up fares who need to travel by transit. Compared to some other areas we have lived in throughout BC, we are really pleased with Kamloops’ transit service.
PS: really looking forward to the day they transition over to electric buses. :)
This is Chizu, I want to tell you about my story of BC Transit.
When I lived in Sahali, 2 years ago, I met a driver who was friendly. Around 8:35 am, near the South Sahali elementary. Sometimes my kids and I rode his bus for winter or rainy days, but the other days we walked on Summit Dr. "route 9". Because walking doesn't need a cost and it is healthy. At that time, we knew that we could see each other because we went through the same route and same time. When he saw us, he waved his hand with a big smile every time. Of course we did the same thing. At that time, I felt a connection with him and BC transit, and I was really happy because we didn't have any relatives in this town. Transportation is just their job, but I have an appreciation for him still now. Now we are fine, how about you? I don't know his name or if he still works or not. He is my first friendly Canadian of my whole life except my friends. When I met him, my kids were young. However, my younger daughter will go to kindergarten in September. Thank you so much.