Archive for the ‘Speak Out’ category

– Can’t imagine daily bus rush

October 22, 2009

Peace Arch News

Letter to the Editor

I have not noticed any further comments on the new transportation arrangements to Vancouver.

Yesterday, I went “into town” to one of the art shops I patronize.

Previously, it took me 40-50 minutes to arrive at my destination. This time, the bus left White Rock Centre close to 5 p.m., with me arriving at the Broadway store at 6:40 – almost in tears.

A blooming disaster, if anyone would’ve asked me!

The Canada Line was standing room only – all the way – unable to find a comfortable spot where I felt secure. The 99 B-line was packed full, a young woman graciously ceded her seat to me. Great speed and dexterity used to “debus.”

The return trip was only one hour, but would not have been for my luck and age, as I was one of only four passengers that got on that bus – another 20 were left behind.

Three more minutes is nothing, you say. It adds up.

Standing squished next to driver, I dared ask if it is always this busy at this time. No, it is like this all day long, since the 98 B-line was taken out, he replied, just as gently.

Then, I was swept up to the Canada Line in mad rush. This time I, like most other rude people, walked on before all “detrained” and grab myself one of just a few seats available at that instant.

I do not understand why or how commuters accept this situation; can’t imagine this on a daily basis.

Alicia M.B. Ballard, White Rock

– Advocacy group pushes for universal U-Pass

October 17, 2009

The Ubyssey

By Lisa Fussell

Students across the province are pushing for a universal U-Pass for all Lower Mainland students and have created an advocacy group to better pressure the provincial government.

The group, called OnePassNow, formed in response to BC Premier Gordon Campbell’s May 2009 election campaign promise: If the Liberals were to win a third term, he would ensure that all college and university students in the province would receive U-Passes starting September 2010. The group includes students from Emily Carr and Vancouver Community College.


– University bus loop blues

October 10, 2009

The Ubyssey

Piecing together the U-Blvd project

By Samantha Jung


Click to enlarge

1. What isthe underground bus loop?

The underground bus loop is part of UBC’s plans to create a “university town” on campus, more commonly known as the “U-Blvd” project, and to replace the “temporary” bus loop on Wesbrook Mall. It was originally designed to go under a shopping mall and block of condos on University Boulevard to provide accessible transportation. According to former AMS VP Administration Tristan Markle, the university has scrapped the condo plan but is still going ahead with the $40 million bus loop project.


– TransLink is broke and broken

October 6, 2009


The Tri-City News

TransLink is broke and the reasons are easy to understand.

TransLink operates light metro (in the guise of SkyTrain and the Canada Line) on routes that do not have the ridership to support them. SkyTrain is subsidized by more than $230 million annually and to date more than $8 billion has been spent on light metro in the region, yet TransLink’s regional share of ridership is about 11% to 12% and has not changed in almost two decades.

There has not been a discernible modal shift from car to transit in the region in almost two decades.


– Light rail groups renew call to scrap SkyTrain expansion

September 30, 2009

Tri-Cities, B.C.

TRI-CITIES (NEWS1130) – Two community action groups are calling on senior governments to scrap plans for SkyTrain expansion and concentrate on at-grade light rail, which they say is a far less expensive option.

The request comes from the community action groups ‘Rail for the Valley’ and the ‘Light Rail Committee’ who are calling for an at-grade light rail system for both Surrey and the Tri-Cities area. They say local mayors, like Surrey’s Dianne Watts, already understand the potential exists to rapidly expand the light rail network using a mixture of track-sharing.

The Light Rail Committee also says the proposed Evergreen expansion is not the wisest choice. The group says the Tri-Cities area would be better off with diesel-electric light rail vehicles, which is something the Committee proposed years ago.

Bus strike averted after pay deal

September 9, 2009

BBC News

North Ireland

A strike by bus drivers in Northern Ireland has been averted after workers accepted a two-year pay deal.

Sean Smyth from the Unite union, which represents Translink drivers, said it was the worst pay deal union members had ever received from the company.

However, he said staff recognised the difficult trading conditions the company was facing and had agreed to a minimum rise “to help keep fares down”.

The bus drivers will now receive a minimum increase of 1% each year.

Mr Smyth added: “You have got to understand, the current economic situation in Northern Ireland, the tension Translink is under, it was important we got this deal.”

“In the light of what were are facing – the constant threat of privatisation which will destroy public transport in Northern Ireland – our members have agreed to accept a two year pay deal”.