From Pat Gooch, PT reader:
From PT commenter Nevin:
My advice to the Yes Campaign is this:
Even though it is not on the ballot, defend TransLink . There is plenty of evidence that it does a reasonable job with its funds and that wastage accounts for no more than 1%. See the following for ammunition:
Defend our transit system. While not perfect it is among the best in North America.
While this video has had a lot of play (for good reason; it uses humour), it nonetheless does the No side’s job: it reinforces, right at the beginning, the meme that TransLink (and political leaders) are despicable.
And therefore, unintentionally, justifies a no vote.
UPDATE: Further to Nevin’s link, more from Daryl Dela Cruz (one of Surrey’s most amazing 19-year-0lds):
From Peter Ladner:
Former CEO Pat Jacobsen on Plan B (phone interview for my next Business in Vancouver column):
“A No vote will do nothing to improve TransLink. It will be very difficult to find a new [permanent] CEO. TransLink will be unable to maintain its aging physical plant. It will continue to lose public confidence, and it will spiral downwards.”
McGarrigle said Metro Vancouver can’t “afford” to lose the vote to the No side (where) “we buy into a future where all taxes are bad, where public services are starved of funds, where our roads aren’t upgraded and where transit can’t keep up. And we can give into a future where the gloom of cynicism descends over the region like a stifling blanket while congestion increasingly costs us all more time and more money and more expensive choices down the road.”
– Gavin McGarrigle, Co-chair of Better Transit and Transportation Coalition and provincial director of Unifor, in NRU (Feb 10, 2015)
Iain Black is President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade. And despite the title, he gives one of the best reasons for voting Yes: an end to ‘Plan B’ parochialism.
Voting “NO” a bridge to nowhere
“More stuff” is the most compelling argument as to why this referendum should pass. Simply, for the first time in Canadian history, we have an opportunity to direct our tax dollars to a very specific list of expenditures (with legislated transparency and auditability) to, in this case, produce meaningful improvements to our transit and transportation network. 400 more buses (from 1800 or so to 2200), 129 more passenger cars for SkyTrain, 10 more cars for the West Coast Express (plus an extra locomotive!), a 50% increase in SeaBus service… The list goes on and on. …
Meanwhile, the “NO” arguments have emerged and, predictably, are either out of context, or grossly oversimplified. One of my personal favorites, though, is the suggestion that voting “NO” will force the appearance of a mysterious “Plan B” to emerge as to how to move the region forward in transit and transportation planning.
Actually, “Plan B” is not a mystery at all. It’s called “the status quo”. …
This is the “Plan B”: a return to an uncertain list of transportation priorities, with each one subject to parochial bartering by mayors tempted to focus on the interests of their own municipalities instead of the broader interests of the region, and no certainty (and a separate multi-year political process needed) as to how the municipalities will fund their portion. The status quo leaves citizens and business owners standing by helplessly as investments in transportation fail to get out of the starting blocks, and it’s why our goods don’t move properly, and why we have gridlock now – before the 1 million additional people arrive over the next 25 years.
Alternatively, we have in front of us an unprecedented, laudable, agreement from the current Mayors Council on a 10-year transportation and transit plan – a clear commitment as to their priorities. Further, by identifying in advance the funding source for the municipal portion of the plan, it will be easier to attract the funding from the crucial senior government partners.
Voting “YES” is the only rational choice to meaningfully move the region forward past decades of paralysis and dysfunctional decision making. Beyond the long list of new hardware, with a “YES” vote we can put the status quo behind us, and actually bring an end to the horror movie.
A blunt-talkin’ Millennial from SFU. Three good reasons to reprint this from Burnaby News:
7 Reasons Millennials Should Vote Yes on the Transit Referendum
Tax hike? F*ck no. That is pretty much the central intellectual argument put forth by Jordan Bateman, and his loyal penny-pinching minion’s at the right wing think tank the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. They cloak their general aversion to taxation of any kind, by focusing their campaign of anger on Translink and its perceived, and in some cases, real, inadequacies. What Bateman fails to relay is that Translink is not the ballot question. Transportation expansion, congestion reduction, and how fund to fund these goals, is. Here are six reasons why voting yes will be in your best interest for the transit referendum.
1. 80% more night bus service
Anyone from the burbs who’s partied downtown on the weekends and missed the last Skytrain knows the night bus service is infrequent, over packed, and in desperate need of expansion. By voting, yes, you’re also endorsing a plan by the mayor’s council to increase services by 80%.
2. More cycling paths
For all the cycling enthusiasts, if the Yes side wins get stoked for 2700km of new bikeway paths in the Metro-Vancouver region.
3. Reducing congestion for drivers
You don’t need to take public transit to feel the benefits of increased transportation options. Increased transportation options don’t merely take people out of cars but will also relieve congestion in Metro-Vancouver by 20%.
4. Surrey Light Rail Line
A yes vote will help ensure Surrey will receive a light rail service that will extend all the way to Langley.
5. A Broadway Subway Line
Voting yes will green light a tunnelled sky-trainline down the Broadway corridor in Vancouver.
6. New Pattullo Bridge
The Pattullo Bridge is rapidly deteriorating and frightening to drive on. If the transit referendum succeeds a new bridge can begin construction.
7. The reality of voting no will be much scarier than a slight increase of 0.5% in the sales tax
Without necessary funding after taxpayers in Washington State rejected a similar regional proposal, their transit provider was forced to cut up to 25% of services on individual routes.
Zachary Paradis is a third-year SFU student working towards a major in Political Science and minor in Communications.
Cities with better transit have fewer traffic fatalities: study
Vancouver has about one-tenth the traffic fatalities as an automobile-dependent city like Houston, Texas
If you want to reduce your risk of dying in a car accident, then you should live in a city with lots of public transit and high transit ridership.
That’s the conclusion of Todd Litman, an urban planner who specializes in transit and is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute. He recently published his findings on transit and safety in the Journal of Public Transportation.
“Vancouver has a much lower fatality rate than most North American cities, and you could essentially say it’s because Vancouver has committed to multi-modal transportation and smart-growth development patterns,” Litman said, referring to planning decisions to boost the number of pedestrian, bike and transit trips and build higher-density residential buildings near transit.
“Vancouver has about a tenth of the traffic fatality rate as in automobile dependent cities.”
Cities that have increased transit have higher ridership, and also fewer traffic fatalities. Source: A New Transit Safety Narrative by Todd Litman