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
On Friday, April 10th, the Offices of the BC Premier and the Prime Minister said that public transit will not receive emergency support from the provincial or federal governments.
We all depend on workers that depend on transit.
Add your name to call on the federal and provincial government to provide emergency funding for essential transit service.
Sign and share the petition, here.
We know that public transit works.
We know that transit gets us cleaner air, safer streets, and more freedom to move around. More transit means healthier people, more choice in jobs and housing, and stronger regions.
Transit does all this for us at a lower overall cost than other ways of getting around. It can be efficient, fast-to-deploy, and responsive to the risks and opportunities of our changing planet.
Since it works so well, let’s offer more transit for more people. Let's get more transit everywhere, fast.
Transit technologies are mature and the business case for fast deployment is strong. As a public utility, transit can bring freedom, security, and choice to us and our neighbours by taking us more places, more affordably, than we could otherwise. Transit makes living together easier and improves civic life.
Yes. Abundant transit is possible in British Columbia: fast and high-quality mobility options, owned by us, that get us around and between the places we all live. Thankfully, we live in a relatively strong democracy with a prosperous economy. Voters can change how our elected officials make decisions about using land, spending money, and regulating our transportation systems.
Making up for lost time
In the past, our governments failed to build enough transit. In the last century, new communities formed and established ones grew more populous, productive, and congested. Our leaders didn’t develop the urban transit systems needed to keep up. Nor did they expand or maintain inter-city and regional rail connections.
Today, we understand their mistake. Congestion, affordability, and climate change mean we can’t go slow anymore. We can learn from those mistakes and act boldly, urgently, today.
If we choose and do the work, British Columbians can have abundant transit.
Abundant transit means readily-available and affordable options that give a freedom of mobility that can never come from relying on your own private vehicle. It means doing what we say when it comes to implementing transit plans and making intelligent and responsible decisions about our region’s independence, security, and health.
People with abundant transit will have more choice about where to live, work, and enjoy life. Abundant transit means families can stay better connected and save money to see and care for one another. Having widespread and affordable alternatives means working people can avoid the risk and cost of a private vehicle.
Yet, communities in North America still rarely make the transit investments that the public wants, as quickly as they need.
The culprit for this delay, here and elsewhere, is electoral politics.Read more