Abundant Transit BC Urges Immediate Federal Support for Essential Transit in Metro Vancouver
Vancouver - April 20, 2020
More than 3,300 people have signed a petition calling on the federal government to provide emergency funding for transit service in Metro Vancouver.
The petition was created by Abundant Transit BC, a Vancouver-based transit advocacy group, in response to TransLink warning a lack of government support would lead to “deconstruction” of local transit.
On April 10, the federal government indicated it does not consider public transit an essential service. Despite providing emergency support for airlines, auto makers, car dealers, and oil companies, the federal government has not yet provided assistance to Translink.
Today, TransLink announced major service cuts and temporary job losses for 1,492 workers. This has severe consequences for public health and the economy.
“We all depend on workers who depend on transit. More than 75,000 people continue to use TransLink every weekday. These are people who may not have another choice. They are nurses, cleaners, grocery store workers, and ordinary people who need essential food and supplies,” says Abundant Transit BC Director Mike Soron.
Unlike other Canadian transit agencies, TransLink does not have a municipal government as a financial backstop. Furthermore, because it is a public agency, it is not eligible for wage support and other programs open to private business. TransLink is unique in its governance and funding and requires unique support from the federal government.
“Transit users are already reporting pass-ups and crowding at bus stops. If the federal government has money to pay the bills of private oil companies and airlines, they have the funds to keep essential transit working in Metro Vancouver.”
Abundant Transit BC is working alongside a broad coalition of people and groups concerned with the harmful impacts of service cuts to the disability community, those living in poverty and the working poor. Together, we are calling on the federal government to urgently fill the funding shortfall for essential transit service in Metro Vancouver.
About Abundant Transit BC: We are a Vancouver-based nonprofit advocating for more transit for more people in British Columbia. Founded in 2017, we believe every British Columbian deserves a transit choice.
Director, Abundant Transit BC