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Vernon  

Innovative ideas needed

The BC Conservative Party wants the ruling NDP government to take action on the imminent loss of Greyhound bus service.

Interim leader Scott Anderson urged the BC NDP to find a solution to transportation loss for the province's Northern and Interior regions.

"Since (Greyhound's announcement), the BC Liberals have been too busy blaming the NDP to suggest any alternatives themselves, and the best the NDP has so far come up with is to urge the private sector to do something," said Anderson, referencing a recent statement by Claire Trevena, the BC NDP Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Anderson said the blame must also be shared with the past Liberal government.

"Neither the NDP nor the Liberals have done anything while in power to pave the way for new, 21st century innovation coming to BC. Neither party did anything to prepare for private sector ride sharing regulation, neither party has done anything to prepare for the coming of autonomous vehicles, and neither party is prepared to offer solutions now that the interior and northern BC are stuck without a viable means of transportation. Instead, they're squabbling like children over whose fault it is, something that's especially rich coming from the Liberals who terminated BC Rail.”

Anderson suggests a hybrid approach, easing the way for the private sector to fill the transportation gaps in a way that makes fiscal sense.

"For example, Flair and Swoop are booming in Abbotsford, and short haul flights make sense for that area," said Anderson. "They may not make economic sense for other areas, but other forms of transportation, including but not limited to private bus service, may be the answer for hard-to-service routes.

"We need a leaner, more comprehensive transportation plan for the future. Let's leverage this century's advances in communication and modes of transportation to allow the private sector, either through incentivization or public–private partnership to fill in the gaps. Right now, all either party has done is put an increasing burden on transportation through various taxes and onerous regulation.”



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