BTA’s BC Budget 2022 submission

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.[1]

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.

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HRA News: “The perfect highway alternative” podcast & article – Right Transit Conversation webinar date change

1) BTA member Eric Doherty co-wrote an inspiring article, and was interviewed for “The perfect highway alternative”podcast about Rapid Bus and the CRD’s new policy of prioritizing transit.

2) The date for the Having the Right Conversation About Transit has changed from Sept 29 to Tues Sept 28 at noon

1) Rapid bus Article and podcast

Over the summer BTA member Eric Doherty co-wrote an inspiring article, and was interviewed for a podcast, about Rapid Bus and the CRD’s new policy of prioritizing transit over highway expansion.

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BTA News: Write to federal election candidates today! – Transit webinar Sept 28

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.

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Please sign national bus and rail petition – good news from CRD

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.

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3431

A bit of summertime good news!

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.

Letter to CRD Board – Regional Transportation Priorities

May 10, 2021

Dear CRD Chair Colin Plant & CRD Board members

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.

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Open Letter to CRD Transportation Committee

Re CRD motions on transportation and climate – February 17 Transportation Committee

Dear Capital Regional District Transportation Committee Members,

Thank you for voting on December 9, 2020 to develop a list of transportation priorities informed by the CRD’s declaration of a climate emergency and the CRD’s climate targets.

We now understand that you will be considering two related motions at the February 17 Transportation Committee meeting.

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Open Letter to CRD Board on Transportation and Climate Motions

Dear Capital Regional District Board Members,

Re CRD motions on transportation and climate – January 13, 2021 board meeting

Thank you for voting on December 9, 2020 to develop a list of transportation priorities informed by the CRD’s declaration of a climate emergency and the CRD’s climate targets.

We now understand that you will be considering two related motions at the January 13 CRD Board meeting.

We support both motions put forward by CRD Director Ned Taylor and ask that you vote in favor for both:

1) Motion re CRD letter to Ministers Fleming and Ma:

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BTA News – 1) BTA Endorses Stefanie Hardman 2) Write to your CRD rep about South Island Transport Strategy

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.

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Media Release: Victoria By-Election Candidates Respond to Sustainable Transportation Questions

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.”

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Media Release: Victoria By-Election Candidates Challenged On Pedestrian Government St, Bus Lanes and Bike Lanes

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.

Continue reading “Media Release: Victoria By-Election Candidates Challenged On Pedestrian Government St, Bus Lanes and Bike Lanes”