The provincial government’s transportation plan, B.C. on the Move, is on the right track with its decision to start a pilot program allowing neighbourhood golf carts on local roads in the communities of Chase and Qualicum Beach.
As long as the program is successful, it’s only a matter of time before communities across B.C. will be able to partake. And nowhere does it make more sense than the Columbia Valley.
If you consider communities like Fairmont and Invermere, a trip to town can involve a long uphill walk home, which can be a deterrent to seniors and people living with disabilities when it comes to running simple errands like getting to and from the grocery store, the doctor’s office and the post office — something a street legal golf cart could solve. For low income individuals who can’t afford the expense of buying and insuring a car, golf carts would offer an affordable alternative for short trips and there are likely deals to be had when it comes to buying a used cart when local golf courses update their fleets. Then there would be the positive environmental effect of less emissions in our beautiful valley air if more residents chose to use golf carts for short trips around their communities instead of cars, SUVs and trucks — an effect further enhanced if those golf carts were powered by electricity rather than gas. And there’s even the likelihood of a small industry developing around neighbourhood golf carts, from retrofitting the carts to meet the legal requirements to rentals and repairs.
To learn more about the program, visit www.gov.bc.ca/neighbourhoodgolfcarts. A region with over a dozen golf courses, the valley is already home to hundreds of golf carts. Add to that number the numerous golf carts found zipping around on the roads of the gated communities that pepper the valley from north to south, and you have a transportation option that is already widely available for if and when the project expands.