COPE is supporting the"More Buses Now!" campaign launched yesterday by the men and women who drive the buses and operate the region’s public transit system. Better public transit for Vancouver is a long standing priority for COPE.
“If promises had any real value, Vancouver would already have a world class transit system,” said Vancouver Cllr David Cadman. “We are so far behind yet the most recent promise, this time by the provincial government, will only double the number of buses by 2020- too little, too late.”
In 2007, one in four Vancouver commuters used public transit to go to work, school and stores. Bus riders say they would use the transit more if service was frequent, fast and affordable. As transit operators have pointed out, only 12 per cent of Vancouver bus routes have frequent service, compared to 58 per cent in Toronto.
“The unfortunate reality is that more Vancouver citizens are using transit than ever before, yet the provincial priority on car based infrastructure is being forced upon us,” explained Vancouver Council candidate Ellen Woodsworth. “COPE will work to make transit a priority for the city and the region.”
Efficient and affordable public transit is a key factor in reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and regional greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a key driver of safe, vibrant and economically healthy neighbourhoods.
“Transit is an important issue for Vancouver youth,” said Alvin Singh, COPE Candidate for School Board. “We rely on the transit system yet it cannot meet our needs. There is abundant rhetoric about making Vancouver green city but the reality is that my generation is choosing the car because our transit system cannot do the job. COPE will change that.”
COPE’s transit priorities include:
* Call for an immediate increase of bus service in Vancouver;
* Create an official Free Bus loop that includes Downtown and the Broadway Corridor between Main St. and Burrard St.;
* Advocate for ongoing sustainable investment in transit infrastructure with a comprehensive financing formula;
* Work with TransLink to implement a student U-pass system for all Metro Vancouver post secondary students similar to that currently in place for students at UBC and SFU;
* Demand that TransLink to create a fare review process that includes an advisory panel of users groups, community organizations, transit operators and other stakeholders in determining fare rates;
Information: David Fields, COPE Communications, 604-722-4775