The City of Delta may be changing its mind when it comes to wanting a community shuttle for an underserved North Delta neighbourhood.
Council on Monday will consider a staff report recommending TransLink be requested to include Sunshine Hills as a high priority for future transit service level improvements upon availability of funding.
Staff earlier this summer were directed to gauge public interest in extending community shuttle bus service in Sunshine Hills and the findings of that survey indicate that 73 per cent of the respondents were in favour.
The report notes that the need for transit service in the Sunshine Hills has been recognized for several years.
“This neighbourhood in North Delta is currently not well served by transit. In 2005, TransLink had a plan to commence a community shuttle bus service through the Sunshine Hills neighbourhood. At that time, however, due to opposition from some residents, the implementation of this service was deferred. A community survey undertaken in 2011 had shown that a majority of the Sunshine Hills neighbourhood residents that responded supported a community shuttle bus service. During follow-up discussions with TransLink, Delta was informed that future service would be considered subject to funding availability,” the report notes.
The report explains commonly cited comments by those opposed include fear that the service may increase their property taxes as well as bring illegal activities to their neighbourhood. The residents are also hesitant to favouring the service without knowing the exact routes the shuttle bus will take and believe this service would increase noise pollution and actually increase traffic congestion and pollution, the report adds.
While only 34 per cent in the 2011 survey were opposed, Coun. Bruce McDonald during council’s discussion earlier this summer noted they were “really, rabidly opposed.”
Coun. Lois Jackson agreed that those against it made it loud and clear they were “resoundingly opposed" but times have changed and people may be fed up with the area not being well served by transit.
The potential transit service to Sunshine Hills was identified in TransLink’s Southwest Area Plan.