02/06/2013 01:10 EST | Updated 04/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Delta funds bus for seniors, citing poor TransLink service

The city of Delta, B.C., is going ahead with its own bus program for seniors because of what it calls poor service from TransLink.

Delta resident Murdina Paavila says her twice weekly trips to the local seniors' centre are getting more and more difficult because the local bus drops her about a mile away, and HandyDart service is unreliable.

"It wasn't bad a year ago,” she said. “It's pretty lousy now.”

Paavila says those trips to the seniors centre are vital.

"I'm 93, I'm living in my own house, my husband died five years ago, so I need people contact.”

Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been a vocal critic of TransLink, says Delta residents pay high taxes but get minimal bus service.

"My position is fairly well known,” she said.

“I hear from my residents all the time: ‘I can't walk five blocks to a bus, the bus isn't frequent enough, it doesn't go where I need to go.’ We just don't have the service here, particularly when you compare it to the north side of the river.”

She says the city is working to roll out a new service focused on the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre.

"We're putting some money together and putting in a little bus service for seniors.”

Jackson says the new service, which will be similar to those in other cities, will cost about $70,000 a year and should be operational in the next few months.