2022 BC Budget Submission – Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria
September 29, 2021
Dear members of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services,
The climate emergency is turning lives upside down in BC. This year hundreds of people died in a heatwave and towns burned. We are in a climate emergency, which translates to a budgetary emergency for governments and families.
According to BC government data, transportation is BC’s largest and fastest growing source of GHG pollution. As shown in the graph below, transport emissions increased by 31% from 2011 to 2018.
This increase was largely caused by provincial budgetary decisions, particularly spending billions of dollars to increase the capacity of urban highways instead of using the same funds to improve public transit and active transportation.
1) #VoteTransit2021 – Write to candidates today! 2) Register now for Having the Right Conversation About Transit – Tues Sept 28 [date changed]
1) #VoteTransit2021 – Write to candidates today! This federal election, with our friends in the national Keep Transit Moving Coalition, we’re asking candidates to end the financial crisis faced by our transit systems.
Please sign this petition (and circulate) calling for a national, affordable, accessible public bus and rail system – we need just 88 more signatures to meet the 500-signature threshold for presentation in the House of Commons!
Chris Alemany from Port Alberni initiated the petition, and any citizen of permanent resident of Canada can sign.
On Wednesday July 14, the Capital Regional District (CRD) board unanimously approved a new policy on transportation prioritization in the region. Now Greater Victoria’s regional district is prepared to advocate for transportation investments that contribute to meeting regional transit ridership, affordability, and greenhouse gas reduction targets. The document is vague in places, but CRD directors asked CRD staff some pointed questions and got important reassurances. Staff clarified that their approach to dealing with congestion will favor improving public transit and active transportation rather than increasing highway capacity for cars with wider highways or new interchanges. We will be following this ongoing process carefully.
Hope you are enjoying your summer, and expect to hear more from the Better Transit Alliance in the fall.
From: BC Sustainable Energy Association Victoria Chapter, Better Mobility Saanich, Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria, Capital Bike (formerly Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition & Bike to Work Victoria), Cities for Everyone, Citizens Environmental Network in Colwood, Climate Justice Victoria, Council of Canadians Victoria Chapter, Greenpeace Victoria Local Group, Island Transformations Organization, Oak Bay Climate Force, Saanich Eco Advocates, Urban Thrive, and View Royal Climate Coalition.
Re 8.4 Identification of Regional Transportation Priorities report – May 12 CRD Board meeting
We support the CRD Transportation Committee’s recommendation “That the categorized priority areas listed in Appendix A be confirmed as amended, subject to clarification of the description of the ‘Highway Safety Improvements’ priority to ensure alignment with the Mode Share targets in the report.” This is a step towards creating transportation infrastructure priorities that are ranked according to CRD criteria including GHG pollution, sustainable transportation mode share, and affordability.
1) BTA endorses Stefanie Hardman in Victoria by-election
The Better Transit Alliance (BTA) has chosen to support Stefanie Hardman’s campaign for the Victoria City Council by-election. Stephanie has earned BTA’s endorsement by providing detailed and passionate proposals for improving public transit. She states that the climate emergency requires prioritizing public transit funding over highway expansion, and that re-allocating road space to transit lanes to make buses faster and more reliable.
Victoria – Victorians for Transportation Choice (VTC), six groups working for better transportation solutions for all, has released candidate responses to our sustainable transportation questionnaire. The responses include candidate positions on keeping Government Street a pedestrian priority zone, accelerating work on Victoria’s all ages and abilities bike network, and creating more bus lanes.
“Victorians for Transportation Choice represents people in Victoria who want their transportation options to be safe and convenient, while rapidly reducing the carbon pollution that drives the climate crisis,” said Tom Hackney, VTC spokesperson and Victoria Chapter Co-Chair of the BC Sustainable Energy Association. “We urge the people of Victoria to review the candidate responses so they can vote for the transportation future they want.”
Victoria – Victorians for Transportation Choice (VTC), a collection of groups who work for better transportation solutions for all, is today launching a candidate questionnaire for the December 12th City of Victoria by-election. The VTC hopes to inform the voting public about candidates’ ideas and platforms on a range of sustainable transportation questions, including their positions on keeping Government Street a pedestrian priority zone and accelerating work on Victoria’s all ages and abilities bike network.