I might be half way around the world, but I’m still following the transit referendum in Vancouver. Being in India, I have a unique perspective of how important good public transit is. Many of the big Indian cities we’ve been to are choking with air pollution and traffic congestion.
Over the past few decades, Indian cities have seen spikes in population and car ownership without any new public transit projects. Now, they trying to play catch up and are investing heavily in rapid transit. It seems that every major city we’ve been to has a metro system under construction – Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Jaipur, Agra, and Varanasi. In fact the Indian government is funding metro construction in any city of more than 2 million people.
Sadly, our current Canadian government ignores urban issues and the BC is no fan of transit. Neither recognize the importance to the economy. The BC Liberals have no problem spending billions on highway expansions and new bridges but won’t finance new transit projects. The best they’ve agreed to is a referendum on a new 0.5% sales tax in Metro Vancouver with the money raised going to fund transit and other congestion reducing projects (including bike lanes and a new Pautullo Bridge). It’s ridiculous that public transit has to beg for money via a referendum, but it is the best chance Vancouver has to get new infrastructure in the next decade.
So, I’m encouraging all my friends in Vancouver to vote YES. I’m happy that the mail-in ballots aren’t due until the end of May so I’ll have time to vote when I get back.
Try living in US after living in Vancouver. 🙂 I also couldn’t resist following the events from far way.
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Bravo! What I wouldn’t do for better public transit in my adopted home Mumbai!!!
Alas my original home town of Winnipeg isn’t brilliant in the public transit department however can appreciate the challenges when there aren’t exactly masses requiring such services. However I sincerely miss the ease of getting around Montreal’s metro or even Toronto’s subway, trams, buses…
Hope folks in Vancouver vote to support a commitment to funding robust public transit initiatives.
I’m from Winnipeg too and I have a lot of miserable memories running to catch the bus that only came once every 30 minutes. I hear they have the start of a bus rapid transit line out to U of M now.
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Well hello fellow ‘Pegger! And fellow traveler who has given up snow suits for sandals. 😉
Yeah the challenge with Winnipeg is just how infrequent buses come. From Fort Richmond, I think it is more like every 45 mins or so… And waiting in -35 (or colder) is a memory I’m happy to not repeat!!