How the province can increase transit use

Across B.C. we are always hearing about the need to either increase transit fares or property tax rates to pay for effective service. However, we do not tackle the problem which is urban sprawl and the need to service riders farther away from city centres.

We need to build compact communities where we can choose to walk or use transit.

Transit authorities could significantly reduce their operating costs or at least curtail any increases, if they were not always trying to catch up to another subdivision.

It’s our tax dollars at stake. Do we want to invest them in more roads? We need to invest in increasing our productivity.

The province needs to make transit a viable choice by making it more convenient and faster than the automobile. More specifically, most people would rather be stuck in traffic in their own vehicles than on a bus.

If you are going nowhere than you might as well be in your own car.

Rapid-transit buses or train lines need a critical level of density to achieve ridership volumes to make them viable.

This could be encouraged by amending the provincial property purchase tax (land-transfer tax) to stimulate the construction of high-density and medium-density housing along the Douglas corridor and other corridors province-wide, with an additional exemption based on the proximity to a rapid bus or rail line. This will encourage the required density along these lines.

Also, the Canadian Association of Retired People agrees with such proposals as they are advocating age-friendly cities.

Avi Ickovich

Langford