Electrifying bus fleet a priority for Helps on B.C. Transit board

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is among four new members appointed to B.C. Transit’s board of directors.

Helps said she is delighted to be selected to the provincial board and plans to continue to push for improvements that she has been calling for at the Greater Victoria Transit Commission.

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“I’m wildly enthusiastic about transit,” said Helps, a cyclist known for the creation of Victoria’s All Ages and Abilities bike network. “If people think I’m excited about bikes, wait until they see how excited I am about buses because buses carry more people and cut more carbon, especially when they are electrified.

“In this climate emergency that we’re in, I think transit really is the future.”

Helps’ transit priorities include electrification of the transit fleet provincewide — hopefully by 2030 — all-door loading on buses, completing the bus-lane network and smart-payment systems on buses across the province.

Composition of the board of directors is set by provincial statute. Members include four elected local government officials and three individuals appointed by the provincial cabinet.

Helps, who is already a member of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission, was appointed to the provincial board along with Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott, Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall and citizen appointee Blair Redlin.

The four new members join Catherine Holt, chair and CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, chair of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission and former Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne.

The B.C. Transit board of directors is responsible for supervising the management of B.C. Transit and appointing the chief executive officer.

Transit board members receive a stipend of $7,500 a year plus $500 per meeting.

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

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