Let’s Move Forward on Transit

Last Thursday, Premier Christy Clark announced an audit of TransLink and rejected the vehicle levy proposed by Metro Vancouver mayors that would have partially funded TransLink’s “Moving Forward” transportation plan.

Today, Spacing Vancouver published a plea for Metro Vancouverites to defend our transit future and secure the future livability of our region. This resonates with me because I’m a regular transit user and support most of the projects included in the Moving Forward plan, such as the construction of the Evergreen Line and the many proposed improvements to bus service, particularly in places like Surrey where improved transit service is desperately needed if we hope to encourage more people to limit (or abandon!) their use of personal vehicles.

I want to live in a region where sustainable modes of transportation are prioritized and well-funded. The environmental, health and social benefits would be plentiful. If funded, the Moving Forward plan is projected to result in a drop in vehicle kilometres travelled per capita by 2014 and lead to a 10% increase in transit boardings by 2021. This would be a start for becoming a Transit City, but we would still have a long way to go since the Moving Forward plan doesn’t include funding for other major transportation issues such as the need for faster and less crowded service along the UBC-Broadway corridor.

For your convenience, here are some links to recent articles and blog posts written by individuals who are very knowledgeable about Metro Vancouver’s transportation history, urban planning, and TransLink politics. Read and speak up so that we can move forward on transit!

Frances Bula, Globe & Mail: B.C. transit expansion plans in jeopardy and Clark rules out vehicle levy to pay for TransLink and Clark rejects mayors’ TransLink funding proposals

Frances Bula, State of Vancouver blog: Fragile TransLink agreements in pieces after Clark comments on audit

Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs: Clark’s demand that TransLink “audit” find $30 million for Evergreen Line can only mean service cuts

Gordon Price, Price Tags blog: Another audit for TransLink, another futile round

Update (Apr. 15/12): More reading on this topic now that we know the TransLink mayors’ council voted to cancel transit expansion plans, except the Evergreen Line, and the TransLink Commissioner won’t allow transit fares to increase beyond the allowable 2% per year.

Frances Bula, Globe & Mail: Mayors vote to cancel TransLink expansion rather than hike property taxes and Major cuts only option left for TransLink

Frances Bula, State of Vancouver blog: TransLink mayors call for cancellation of new rapid-bus lines in Surrey/Langley + more til funding found

Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs: Cancelled fare hike will force cancellation of service increases, throws TransLink into turmoil

Gordon Price, Price Tags blog: Clipping File: TransLink, Fares and the Future

Stephen Rees: Auditing TransLink

2 responses to “Let’s Move Forward on Transit

  1. Hey..so good to know you “..want to live in a region where sustainable modes of transportation are prioritized and well-funded” and not so good to know you want someone else to pay for it, as I suspect that person might be me.

    PS. How does a diesel bus rate as ‘sustainable’?

  2. Hey, LL. I hear you! It is so annoying to have to pay for things you don’t use. I think you could find common cause here with people who don’t own cars, who I bet are likewise annoyed at having to pay for federally and provincially funded highways and many the health care and legal costs associated with traffic fatalities and traffic law enforcement.

    I’ll take a stab at your other question: even 10 people riding a diesel bus are using a lot less fuel than those 10 people driving their own cars. And a lot less energy goes into making one bus than 10 cars! Usually a lot more people ride a bus than that, of course. So while I guess a diesel bus is not 100% sustainable forever (whatever that would mean), it’s a whole lot better than private vehicle, and buys us a lot more time to develop cleaner energy technology. Plus a bus driver gets a job!

    I hope that helps.

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