Light rail is a good, maybe even a great thing, but it is not the beginning or the end of transit in the Lower Mainland.
With federal funding from the new Liberal government, provincial funding, and at least some cash from either municipalities and/or the shambling husk of TransLink, it looks like rail lines from Surrey to Langley, and in Vancouver, might actually be built. Maybe. Fingers crossed.
But we need more than that.
Neighbourhoods across the suburbs, but particularly in Langley, Surrey, and other fast-growing outer suburbs, have been crying out for more transit for years. And the only kind of transit that can service a local neighbourhood is the garden-variety bus.
Frankly, we’re sick of debating whose fault the whole mess is. We don’t care if it’s TransLink, the mayors, the province, or all of them together. We’re adding tens of thousands of people a year, and at the same time we only add a tiny handful of bus routes. It’s bad for seniors, it’s bad for students, it’s bad for anyone without a driver’s licence, and it’s bad for those who drive on over-congested roads.
Here’s a new proposal: We will get a TransLink or BC Transit bus, and onto it we will pack the B.C. premeir and cabinet, the federal minister of transportation, the mayors from across the Lower Mainland, and TransLink’s senior staffers. The bus will then slowly wind its way through traffic, but no one will be allowed off –not even for a bathroom break – until significant progress is made. For each bus route they can agree to fund, we’ll give them five minutes off the bus.