Monday, February 26, 2024

The BCFED Calls on the Province to Massively Invest in Transit Service

BC Transit Bus in Downtown Agassiz

Last week, the BC Federation of Labour released a report called “Connecting BC: A Ten-Year Vision and Investment Plan for Public Transit throughout BC.” The report’s authors called on the provincial government to make a generational investment in public transit. This investment into transit will help strengthen the economy, provide good jobs, and help the province meet its climate action goals.

The following is a summary of the proposed investments.

  • Build a province-wide, intercity express bus network to replace Greyhound service lost in 2018.
  • Outside of Metro Vancouver, double local transit service within the next five years and triple the service over the next decade.
  • Expand HandyDART service province-wide.
  • Develop new regional rail connections across the South Coast and Vancouver Island.
  • Add new passenger ferry options between Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.
  • Accelerate TransLink’s 10-year Access for Everyone plan for Metro Vancouver.
  • Expand existing free transit programs to youth aged 13 to 18.
  • Create a province-wide fare payment system for local, intracity, rail, and ferry transit services.

The capital projects in the report total $15.4 billion. The authors also call on the province to increase its ongoing operating financial support, about $350 million today for public transit, to $1.5 billion over the next ten years.

For more information, please read the full report.


Nathan Davidowicz said...

Corrections/comments on BCFed Executive Summary ( 5 pages )

page 1:

Our current provincial government has made important new transit investments ( 3rd paragraph )

What is the new investment?

page 2

1. Connect BC communities everywhere through a new province-wide express bus service.

No mention that MOTI has given all the lucrative high passenger corridors to private companies like e-Bus from Alberta.
Need to cancel most of the agreements with private companies .
No mention that current rail services by VIA can be upgraded so we have province wide intercity Bus/Rail service.

. 2. Double the number of buses in BC Transit local services within five years and triple it within ten, for more frequent, reliable local transit services in communities throughout BC.

Should mention that the former BC govt doubled the bus fleet in the 1970s within 3 years.
No mention that we need to buy many high capacity buses ( articulated, double articulated, double decker buses ) Almost all the bus routes in the City of Vancouver as well as major routes to all Universities should have high capacity bus routes instead of standard buses.
No mention to have 24/7 bus service on all major corridors ( about 30 corridors )
No mention that in dense urban areas of 5000+ people per square km, bus routes and bus stops should be available within 300m to 400m walk or about 5 minutes. in suburban less dense areas 10 to 15 minutes walk should be the standard.

3. Expand HandyDART service province-wide with an upgraded electric fleet

No mention that most transit systems in Canada provide paratransit ( HandyDART ) services in house together with their regular conventional bus services.
No mention that BC Transit gets a special extra subsidy for HandyDART, while TransLink does not.

page 3

Nathan Davidowicz said...

cont'd comments

4. Develop new regional rail connections across the South Coast and Vancouver Island along historic rail corridors, in partnership with First Nations communities along the rail lines

No mention of the various planning reports that recommended Regional Rail.
The old interurban service ran from Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, North Delta, Langley, Abbottsford, Chilliwack.
( Returning only the section from Langley to Chilliwack is not enough need to connect at least to Surrey; Need to be combined with expanded VIA Rail service from Vancouver to Edmonton )
No mention of the Steveston Line, Marpole Line, Arbutus Line

5. Add new passenger ferry options between Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island
No mention of taking over the private False Creek Ferries,
No mention of additional water transit routes in Metro Vancouver

6. Accelerate TransLink’s 10-year Access for Everyone plan for Metro Vancouver

The BCFed and VDLC have endorsed the bad TransLink plan. No municipal council has approved this plan.
This plan and the SLS plan that was pushed by the Federal Government will take away most of our money and there will be very little money to implement the good projects.

7. Expand existing free transit programs to youth aged 13 to 18.
No mention the Transit Fares for regular Seniors in Metro Vancouver are the highest in Canada.
No mention of the need to provide Low Income fares for 19 to 64 yrs like it is done in most transit systems in Canada.
No mention of farre caps and keeping fares very low , like it is done in many other places.

8. 8. Integrate all these transit pieces into a seamless, coordinated and coherent transit experience

No mention that we have two smart cards in BC instead of just one.
No mention of adding BC Ferries to provide smart cards together with BC Transit and TransLink.
No mention of copying Ontario by having proper fare integration in BC ( Ontario program is starting on Feb, 26, 2024,
and some riders would save up to $1600 per year )

Page 4

No mention of 15 minutes neighborhoods

Page 5

Not a very clear idea what the funding is at present and how all these numbers have arrived.

TransLink 10 yrs plan is cost at $21 B for capital over 10 years. The BCFed Plan proposes to accelerate that to 5 years. but states that the total is $6.8 B instead of $21 B
How much money is BC Fed proposes to invest in years 6 to 10 ?
See table on page 32of 44 of the complete plan

For TransLink my Alternative Plan proposes about $4B per year in Capital vs the present $2 B average over the last 10 years and approx. $3 B per year proposed by TransLink & MOTI 10 yrs plan.
( This is easy for people to understand $2 B now, either $3B or $4 B for the next 10 years )