Archive for the ‘Speak Out’ category

– 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”.


Universal transit U-Pass needed

September 4, 2009

The Alma Mater Society of University of British Columbia, Students Unions of Vancouver Community College, Emily Carr Students’ Union and Douglas Students’ Union are calling for the expansion of the highly successful Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) program to all public post secondary institutions in the lower mainland.

. OnePassNow campaign is calling for a $25 U-Pass for all Metro Vancouver students to fulfill the Premier’s election promise “…to introduce a common U-Pass program for all post-secondary students … for a flat fee that is the same for students throughout Metro Vancouver.”

The U-Pass program has been one of the most successful transit programs in Metro Vancouver because it provides students with an affordable way to increase their transit use while relieving some of the financial burden for students. Currently, students at Vancouver Community College, Emily Carr University and Douglas College pay three times more than UBC students for their monthly transit pass. The OnePassNow campaign is calling for a standardization of the UBC rate so that all students can enjoy the benefits of a $25 U-Pass.

There are also significant environmental benefits of expanding the U-Pass program. TransLink staff have reported that in order to achieve the greenhouse gas emission targets set by the Premier, transit ridership would have to double in the Greater Vancouver Regional District by 2020. Currently, transit serves fewer than twelve percent of all trips in the GVRD. Students at Emily Carr University, Douglas College and Vancouver Community College present a large pool of current as well as potential transit users that could help the BC Government achieve its ambitious goal.

To find out more about the campaign go to

Contact Info >

– Restoring the Rule of Law in Vancouver

August 24, 2009


When a government’s decisions are taken behind closed doors and outside people’s supervision, the world cannot trust that government. — Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate 2003


The rights of BC’s small businesses took a surprising but welcome turn for the better on 27 May 2009.

impeachAfter four years of crippling losses that drove nearly 100 businesses adjacent to the RAV/Canada Line construction from their location or into failure, one heroic merchant saw through her legal battle and won her claim of $600,000 in construction-related losses. This unprecedented decision–following from an unprecedented urban excavation project–may change the lives of many who have suffered, many who have lost their life’s work to the “cavalier disregard” of their legal rights in a democratic country. Check here for more information about this legal case or here to contact us with regard to negotiating a claim on your behalf.

On June 19, an unelected regional transportation authority, already hundreds of millions of dollars in debt due to this mismanaged and fraudulent transit project, chose to throw millions more into the legal fight of big business against the small. Hazel & Company’s award of $600,000 <click for court documents is now being challenged in the BC Court of Appeal by Translink on behalf of the RAV concessionaire, InTransitBC LLP.

The Do RAV Right Coalition wishes to thank over 35 professionals in the fields of municipal, environmental, and criminal law, construction, excavation shoring, geotechnical engineering, hydrology, toxicology, epidemiology, and transportation economics and planning for their contributions to this article.

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