Image from the Town of Blackfalds website

Poll: Ponoka News readers in favour of joining BOLT Transit

Respondents to Ponoka News’ most recent web poll related to joining BOLT Transit were favourable

If the Town of Ponoka considers joining the BOLT Transit system, it may get strong support from residents.

The web poll was created by Ponoka News in response to the announcement by Greyhound that it is closing its western Canada services, which drew much discussion and consideration among readers.

Ponoka News’s most recent web poll, Should Ponoka join the BOLT Transit system that connects Red Deer, Blackfalds and Lacombe? had 104 votes with an overwhelming 91 (87.5 per cent) in favour of the idea.

The rest, 10 (9.5 per cent) voted ‘no’ while two votes (two per cent) stated they were ‘unsure.’ The last vote of ‘other’ was a comment within the poll that the BOLT schedule may not work for some people, this last sentiment was voiced more than once.

Reader Lynn Stone spoke in favour of the idea. “I would love it, providing it was efficient — perhaps like an express with minimal stops in between Ponoka and Red Deer.”

The only problem with the transit system is that not everyone knows about it, a concern voiced by reader Susan Stumbur. “It’s a good idea, it needs to be advertised, so people actually know it even exists!”

However, another reader suggests that the system may be ideal for a small area, but the loss of Greyhound’s service routes is part of a larger problem.

Charlie Walcheske stated they do not feel the current federal government is smart enough to step in. “Greyhound threatened this action a few years ago but the government stepped in and stopped it,” said Walcheske.

READ: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s decision

The axing of services by Greyhound points to the real challenge that rural communities face when it comes to transportation and access to services. Getting from one community to another can take an hour and some rural residents don’t have easy transportation options.

The question of who should pay for that service gets raised as well, which is another concern for rural residents and taxpayers alike.

It appears another challenge for the BOLT Transit line is usage, according to one reader. Charlene McCheyne suggested that there are not enough people using the service.

That being said, for those without cars, or those who cannot drive far, the BOLT Transit service is ideal, explained reader Gail Pugh. She pointed out there are some people who need a bus service.

“Who knows when we may not be able to drive, and have need for a public transit?” asked Pugh.

Editor’s note: Included Facebook comments have been edited for grammar.

As with any Ponoka News web polls, they are a way to engage with readers and get a feel for what residents want. They do not represent an official petition or plebiscite and do not represent the Town of Ponoka or any other organization. Check at www.ponokanews.com/web-poll for more polls.

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