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GetOnBoard BC’s aim is to secure the funding needed to create a world-class transit system throughout Metro Vancouver, with new rapid transit lines and many more buses. This will not be cheap. It will only happen if we join together to ensure that transit funding is no longer an issue politicians can afford to procrastinate on. We plan to make transit, and facilities for walking and cycling to transit, a top priority for all levels of government.
It is time for better, cheaper and more convenient ways to get around our region. It’s time to imagine a better future for Metro Vancouver.
Who We Are
GetOnBoard BC is a diverse coalition of residents, students, workers, businesses, academics and other groups who all have an interest in improving public transit. Our membership continues to grow, with more organizations coming on board. Here are some of the organizations working with GetOnBoard BC:
UBC Alma Mater Society (UBC AMS)Canadian Auto Workers, Local 111 (CAW 111)Sustainable Transportation Coalition (STC)Kwantlen Student Association (KSA)Surrey Board of TradeUBC Graduate Students Society (UBC GSS)Simon Fraser Student’s Society (SFSS)Sustainable SFUCapilano Student’s UnionUniversity Neighborhoods Association (UNA)Arbutus Ridge Concerned Citizen’s Action Committee (ARCCA)Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1724Vancouver Community College Student’s Union (VCCSU)City of VancouverCouncil of Canadians (Vancouver-Burnaby Chapter)Council of Canadians (Richmond/Delta Chapter)Vancouver School Board (District #39)Vancouver Public Space NetworkCity of SurreyVancouver and District Labour CouncilCOPE 378
Lower Mainland Transit Coalition commends Leap Ahead’s work, supports a “Clear, Simple and Tangible” referendum proposal
GetOnBoard BC, a coalition advocating for better transit across the region supports a “Clear, Simple and Tangible” referendum proposal and believes that Leap Ahead's referendum vision provides a “good starting point.”
"At GetOnBoard BC, we believe that the people of the Lower Mainland support better transit and will support new funding for transit through a referendum as long as the proposal is simple, clear and has provides key deliverables people understand" said Campaign Director Lee Haber. "In many cities in the United States, people have supported additional funding for transit when the question and the use of funds has been clearly articulated.”
“Leap Ahead is the first major proposal of what this transit referendum should look like and they should commended for their leadership. What Leap Ahead has produced is well thought-out and is an example of what a simple, clear and tangible proposal could look like. Both the costs and the benefits are clearly laid out."
GetOnBoard BC also supports the creation of a referendum task force to ensure the drafting of the referendum is open and transparent. "The process of developing this referendum proposal needs to be clear and open," stated Mr. Haber. "We advocate the creation of a task force that involves all stakeholders to be given the task of drafting this proposal."
"This issue will define our region for a generation. We need to get this question right. The future of our region and the millions who call it home is at stake."
..i truely wish that translink the company was on the table. and it's security mentality.
How to change the transit status quo
Every morning, over 73,000 transit users walk to their nearest transit stop, hop aboard and begin their daily trek to UBC’s Point Grey campus. However, only 35 per cent of those taking public transit along the Broadway corridor to UBC are actually students. Riding alongside are faculty members, staff members, business people, hospital workers, teachers, school kids and more.
Anyone taking transit to and from UBC understands the need for greater transit service and new infrastructure. As the busiest bus corridor in North America, Broadway sees 100,000 riders per day and growing, and the corridor is at a saturation point, with over 500,000 riders passed up per year. The current solution being put forward by the provincial government is to put the decision of whether to approve new funding mechanisms for public transit before a regional referendum in over a year, when what is needed is an immediate commitment of funding to manage the ever-increasing ridership demand and reduce the number of pass-ups per day.
So where are we today? We have an increasing number of riders passed up each day, crowded buses and a system unable to meet the demands of a growing region. TransLink does not have the necessary funding mechanisms to handle growing demand, and the earliest it may see one is in late 2014 at a referendum. Furthermore, little information has been released on how this referendum will work, what questions will be posed to voters and what the results of the vote will actually mean for transit funding. Given the lack of clarity from the provincial government, I do not believe these questions have answers....
Metro Vancouver transit referendum opens up opportunities for organizing
In a phone interview with rabble.ca, NDP TransLink Critic George Heyman said the Liberals "broke the TransLink governance system" when they eliminated local government control and imposed an appointed board. He also noted that the Liberals have recently offered the Mayors' Council two token seats on the TransLink Board and suggested that the Liberals' legislation might just entrench this meaningless change rather that returning any meaningful control of TransLink to local governments. Heyman also blasted the service cuts and delay in transit improvements caused by the Liberals' refusal to honour a 2011 funding agreement with the Mayors Council, saying that the further delay caused by the referendum would irrevocably shift the region towards automobile dependency.
The transit service cuts are deepest at the edges of the transit system, in Surrey and Delta, but they extend even to bus routes in the City of Vancouver and off-peak SkyTrain service.
An unintended, and positive consequence of the upcoming referendum could be an increased level of organization on transit issues in Greater Vancouver, and even across Canada. In the U.S., where transportation funding referendums are common, there are several national coalitions with hundreds of member organizations working to promote transit. In contrast Canada has no national transit coalition and the groups dedicated to promoting transit are so small and underfunded as to be almost insignificant. The most significant organization presently promoting transit in Canada may be the Wilderness Committee, which has one climate campaigner who does transportation work off the side of their desk....
Advocates unveil transit expansion plan funded by 0.5% sales tax
In line with regional and provincial priorities, Leap Ahead would fund the immediate construction of significant transit infrastructure including:
GetOnBoard BC announces two new members to coalition: HUB and the BCCC
The BCCC is a registered non-profit consisting of 12 cycling coalitions and representing over 4500 members. It supports a number of pro-cycling initiatives and represents the interests of cyclists across the province. The BCCC is a supporter of economically and environmentally sustainable transportation.
HUB is a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 1998 to address cycling concerns in Metro Vancouver. HUB promotes cycling education, supports the cycling community through events and programs, and engages governments and businesses to encourage cycling.
On joining the coalition, HUB released a statement: “HUB believes an efficient and reliable transit system is key to the economic, personal and community health of our region. Not only does it provide an accessible and sustainable form of mobility, it plays an important part of supporting cycling trips, reducing the need to own a car, and allowing multi-modal trips which combine cycling and transit. HUB supports GetOnBoard BC and more sustainable transportation investments in the region."