Inter-community public transitThe lack of inter-community public transit disproportionately impacts Indigenous and other peoples in rural areas. As the Union of BC Indian Chiefs asserts in their letter calling for a BC-wide public transit network, “Safe, reliable, and accessible public transit to and from First Nations communities in B.C. is essential because transportation is necessary to many indispensable components of daily life.” Reallocating money away from highway expansion could fund public inter-community bus service province-wide. To meet B.C.’s ambitious traffic reduction target, this bus network would have to be much better and more affordable than Greyhound ever was. Expanding and improving BC Transit’s modest BC Bus North network, using electric buses, is an obvious option. Passenger train service on existing tracks is also needed in the longer term. A frequent and affordable bus service between communities would make life more affordable and safer for people across B.C. People in rural areas and small towns spend a lot of money on long drives, and crashes on snowy highways are a serious threat. Because many people in cities pay to buy and insure vehicles primarily for visiting rural areas of B.C., car use in cities could be reduced by improving transit to rural areas.
- Challenge your elected municipal councillors, regional district directors, and candidates for office to set a local target that matches or exceeds the provincial target of reducing vehicle travel 25% by 2030. Ask them to advocate for reallocating provincial and federal infrastructure funds from highway expansion to transit and active transportation (cycling, rolling, and walking). See GVAT example.
- Thank the BC government for their ambitious target for fewer cars and 25% less traffic, and demand transportation investments that respect human rights – Amnesty International has a helpful guide.
- Endorse and become active in the grassroots Let’s Ride campaign for a public inter-community public transit system across British Columbia – bcwidebus.com.
About the Author
Registered Professional Planner, MCIP - Ecopath Planning