After much debate, discussion and brainstorming, the Town Council has decided to terminate its Master Operating Agreement with the Province of British Columbia, therefore bringing the transit system in town to an end.
“During our budget deliberations, we had fairly significant conversations about how to invest our tax dollars for our municipality. And the first item from the closed meeting was the termination notice of the Transit Service Agreement,” said Mayer Christina Benty.
Council decided that cost to the taxpayers wasn’t worth it, due to the poor usage of the transit system, which was brought into Golden three years ago.
“I think it should be noted that this comes on the heels of a very extensive report released by BC Transit… It’s not an easy decision to stop a service like this,” said Coun. Ron Oszust.
The report did not give the Golden transit system a very favourable rating.
“Unfortunately our transit system is one of the worst performers in the province… and we would actually be forced to buy two more buses in the near future which would have a significant impact on our budget for next year,” said Benty.
“If we were to go down that route, that would be a fairly significant cost for the taxpayers. So we had some discussion around that, and decided not to continue to fund this service.”
It was a very difficult decision for Council to make, and although he agreed it was the right move for the Town, Coun. Chris Hambruch expressed his disappointment to see the transit system go.
“It wasn’t a decision that was made lightly. But the BC Transit Report was a big part of showing the realities of what our transit system wasn’t,” he said.
“As one of the Councillors who sat around the table trying to get BC Transit here I’m sad to see it go. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. The public wasn’t ready for a transit system in Golden.”