Photo courtesy, Yolanda Cole, The Georgia Straight
A key tenet of COPE’s 2011 campaign for Vancouver City Council calls for easily achievable and innovative changes to the way TransLink delivers bus service.
“Too often transit riders are waiting for transit service, as buses pass them by. Transit riders can count on COPE to work towards a much improved bus system, as the first priority for a newly elected Vancouver City Council,” COPE candidate for Council Tim Louis stated at a press conference on Monday, October 17th, held at one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs, at Broadway and Commercial.
COPE recognizes that there is a strong need for an improved and responsive transit system to meet the needs of Vancouver commuters.
“COPE will urge TransLink to undertake a comprehensive study of the feasibility of double articulated buses along Broadway,” Louis committed to Vancouver voters.
COPE’s plans for a much improved transit service would include working closely with Translink to equip buses with a traffic light control: on approach to an intersection the light would be frozen green until the bus has cleared the intersection.
In addition to the traffic light control initiative, COPE candidate Louis argues for the purchase and implementation of double-articulated buses into the transit system.
“In advocating for a feasability study into the use of double articulated buses along Broadway, capacity would increase by 50%,” Louis told members of the media at the Monday press conference. The double-articulated buses, with an added third section, are already successfully in use in Gothenburg, Sweden and Zurich, Switzerland. The extended buses, at 18 metres in length, are four metres longer than the current Translink articulated buses, and could transport up to 200 passengers.
“The ideas that COPE articulates in our platform on transit improvements are cost-effective, require little in the way of additional capital expenditure, and would result in enormous improvements for you and I when we ride the bus in Vancouver.”
COPE’s transportation platform commitments focus on creating a public transit system that encourages drivers to get out of their cars by addressing the speed, cost, and capacity of Vancouver buses. COPE candidate Tim Louis notes that increasing transit efficiency is essential to addressing air quality concerns and the continuing threat of climate change.
In addition to the proposed changes above, at the press conference on Monday, Louis also committed to working with Translink to create a prepaid system for bus riders that would allow all transit users to board through the back door. Mr. Louis also states that COPE is committed to a freeze on transit fares.
“We recognize that Vancouver City Council does not have jurisdiction over fares, but COPE city councillors will advocate in partnership with community groups to put pressure on TransLink to freeze fares,” he said.
Although it is not part of COPE’s current platform, Tim Louis noted another potential transit solution: making the B-line a free service during off-peak hours.
“Buses are the back bone of our public transit system,” Louis stated emphatically. “We need more buses moving more smoothly to meet Vancouver’s commuter needs.”
“Elected COPE representatives to Vancouver City Council will do everything possible to democratize TransLink, to see that the TransLink board is accountable to the taxpayer,” stated Louis, a former two-term Vancouver City Councillor, Finance Committee Chair, and current COPE candidate. As a central tenet of its transportation platform, COPE has proposed a democratically-elected Translink Board that would work always in the best interests of passengers, taxpayers and workers.”
“We must create a transit system for everyone.”