Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Private citizens providing transit service in South of Fraser

In Metro Vancouver, there is a rule of thumb when it comes to transit: the further east you go, the less service is available. This has been the case for at least 100 years. People have been screaming for better transit out in places like the South of Fraser since I moved to the region about a decade ago and while there has been some improvement, there is much work still to be done. Sadly, it seems that our politicians are unable or unwilling to find a long-term solution to fund transit expansion. One of the interesting things is that public transit is so desired out here that when government failed to act, private citizens took the job of providing transit on themselves. I don’t think there is a stronger case for providing more transit service than this. Over the last few months, one new “private” transit service has been launched and another is about to begin.

One service is called Pacific Commuter which runs an express bus service between Langley, Cloverdale, and Downtown Vancouver. This is a West Coast Express-like premium transit service.

The second service that’s about to get started is called the Aldergrove Trolley which brings $2/ride service to parts of Aldergrove that are not served by TransLink which includes Gloucester Industrial Estate. The service will feed into the 502. The organization has already purchase a trolley bus and is getting the help of Jim Storie, the owner and CEO of the Vancouver Trolley Company according to an article in the Aldergrove Star, to get things running.

Politicians should take note that the desire for public transit is so strong in the South of Fraser that people have decided to take matters into their own hands. This both encourages me about the type of people that live in the South of Fraser, but also saddens me that government has been unable to properly provision a public service out here.

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