I recognize that there are faults with the pilot program, but that is why it is a pilot - so we can learn from it, change it and correct it, not scrap it.
By Jessica Maurice
Published December 10, 2014
I am a business owner downtown and I support the bus lane: as a citizen, I am a cyclist, transit user, pedestrian as well as car-driver.
Bus only lane at King and Mary (RTH file photo)
My business, which is along King Street East, sees much of the traffic congestion as it begins to form into the downtown core.
Council now wants to remove the bus lane pilot without waiting for the final report. They want to make a decision without examining the evidence.
I have heard numerous times over the past year about how the bus lane is crippling businesses, how this one lane has had detrimental effects on their customer base and ultimately their sales. Naturally, I question this as the sole factor for decreased revenue.
Unlike those businesses, our sales have grown over the past year. Do I attribute it to the addition of the bus lane? No. Perhaps it's the advertising we do, the social media we regularly push, the products we carry, the addition of a liquor license, or maybe it's a combination of all of those factors.
For businesses to lay blame on just the bus lane does not add up. There needs to be some accountability here.
Over this past year, our business has yet to have one single customer complain about not finding parking, the traffic getting to/from our store, or really, anything bus-lane-related.
Is it because all of our customers are transit users? I doubt that.
I recognize that there are faults with the pilot program. I see them daily while driving along King Street. But that is why it is a pilot - so we can learn from it, change it and correct it, not scrap it.
Transit users are our customers and we are ready to accommodate them. We are ready to move forward in this ambitious city that we all love.
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