Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Langley Mayors at Carvolth Transit Exchange Promoting Yes Vote

This morning, I decided to stop by the Carvolth Transit Exchange to help Mayors Ted Schaffer and Jack Froese spread the good news about the Mayors’ Council’s Transportation Plan for our region.

Most people in Langley want more transit service, but when it comes to funding transit service, the community is spilt. While Langley is getting its fair share of transit service today, there is simply not enough money to provide needed transit service improvements region-wide. Communities like Willoughby and Walnut Grove need more service.

While it is universally agreed that we need more transit, it is tricky to convince people to vote for a tax increase.

Mayor Jack Froese at Carvolth Exchange

In a places like Langley, there is a belief that local government and TransLink have extra money that could be used to pay for transit expansion. Of course this is not a reality.

Since transit service isn’t the primary mode of transportation for most people in Langley, many have a hard time picturing the tangible benefits of the Mayors’ Plan for our community.

While it would have been politically easy for both the Langley mayors to have opposed the Mayors’ Council plan or remain silent, I have to give them credit for doing the right thing.

Mayor Ted Schaffer at 555 Bus Stop

They know the importance of improving transit for our community. They are standing up for the future of our community even though they won’t be winning any political points for doing so.

At the transit exchange, I was able to have a few conversatiosn with people about the plebiscite.

One of the first things I noticed was that people under the age of 35 were strong supporters of the Mayors’ Council plan. They got how important transit is. In fact, several people told me that the plebiscite was a dumb idea and showed a weakness in government where a bold action would have been better.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that older people had reservations about the plan. Oddly, one older person told me that service was poor in Langley which is why he was voting no. Voting yes will increase service, voting no will not. This position is paradoxical.

The older you get, the more important transit becomes to maintain an independent, high quality of life. It seems that many older people do not see this link yet.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people at the transit exchange supported investing in more transit service. I was proud to see our Langley mayors talking with people about why voting yes is critical for the future of Langley.

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