The Better Transit Alliance is a member of Victorians for Transportation Choice (VTC), a collection of seven groups who work for better transportation solutions for all. We have received numerous responses to our questionnaire on transportation issues, and more are still coming in.
Candidates who responded have overwhelmingly supported a target of reducing car traffic 25% by 2030 as called for in the provincial climate plan, and a set of supportive policies to make public transit, walking, rolling and cycling more appealing in Greater Victoria. Both mayoralty candidates in Saanich support the 25% traffic reduction target.
Specific questions regarding public transit include one regarding bus lanes, with variations by municipality. The City of Victoria question is “Do you support rapidly completing 24/7 bus lanes along Douglas Street through downtown Victoria, as well as similar measures along all of BC Transit’s proposed RapidBus routes in Victoria?” The Saanich question asks about support for “rapidly completing 24/7 bus lanes along McKenzie to UVic.”
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.
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.
Re CRD response to South Island Transportation Strategy
Thank you! Your 2019 votes against a new ‘alternate route’ Malahat highway and for the CRD Climate Emergency declaration has resulted in the provincial government releasing aSouth Island Transportation Strategy (SITS) that is a significant step forward.
We would like you to take the next step, and request a re-prioritization of provincial and federal funding to be compatible with the aspirations of SITS, the CRD’s unanimous Climate Emergency declaration, and the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
Our transit system in Greater Victoria is threatened like never before. Revenues from gas taxes and transit fares have evaporated, and the federal government is bailing out private yacht clubs and luxury car dealerships while refusing to provide emergency operating funding for public transit. There have been significant cuts to transit service in Greater Victoria already, and much deeper cuts could be on the way.
In the past, bail out funds have often gone to urban highway expansion boondoggles that make traffic and pollution worse, instead of to badly needed transit improvements.
The Better Transit Alliance has joined the Save Transit in BC Coalition, which is calling on the federal government to provide emergency operating funding. You can help by using their letter writing tool to tell your MP why you want emergency funding for public transit NOW.
Some points you might want to include in your letter include:
In this Newsletter: 1) Green New Deal Town Hall Thurs 2) Support universal youth transit passes in Greater Victoria 3) Good News – Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities supports funding shift for transit 4) Bad News – Provincial Government funds highway expansion & delays bus lane completion