Creating Smart, Fair and Healthy Transportation Options For All BC Communities
We envision that in 10 years, across BC – in communities small and large, it will be easy, safe and enjoyable to get around, whether by walking, biking, ride-sharing, by public transit or in a wheelchair. We want to see the provincial government making progressive investments that support active, connected and healthy communities.
This vision is guided by the following VALUES:
- Healthy Communities: Safe biking and walking routes, good street design and regular transit should be available to all British Columbians so that it is easy to be active and healthy. These can also make it easier for people to be socially connected which is important for mental health.
- Mobility for All: A range of transportation options should be available to all British Columbians – including those who live in smaller communities, and vulnerable groups such as children, older adults and those with disabilities or low incomes as well as non-drivers – so that everyone can have access to education, employment, shopping, healthcare, recreation, cultural events and social connections.
- Clean Air and Environment: Public transit and active modes of transportation should be available to all British Columbians as these can reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
- Economic Opportunities and Cost Savings: Active and public transportation facilities are smart investments as they can stimulate local business and tourism in communities of all sizes. These investments can also control rising healthcare costs because regular physical activity keeps people healthier and out of the healthcare system.
- Consideration of Community Needs: All BC communities should have a range of convenient, affordable transportation options that are tailored to their context – whether urban or remote, dense or dispersed, small or suburban.
- Safety for All Road Users: The design and rules of the road should ensure that all British Columbians can arrive at their destination safely.
How do we get there?
- A Provincial Active Transportation Strategy
- Invest $100M per year over the next 10 years to support the development of local cycling and walking infrastructure within a larger provincial network.2. Prioritize the completion of connected cycling and walking transportation networks.
- Develop an Active Transportation unit within the Ministry of Transportation to provide professional planning and policy expertise at the provincial level.
- Invest in Active School Travel Planning and standarized cycling education for healthy, active children.
- Investment in transit
- Invest in the full implementation of the BC Transit Strategic Plan 2030 and local governments’ ‘Transit Future Plans’ to grow transit service and meet local needs.1.
- Ensure a fair share of capital funding and secure, predictable regional revenue tools for the full implementation of the TransLink Mayor’s Council 10-Year Vision.
- Continue and expand the universal bus pass (UPASS) program to students and employees of post-secondary institutions.
- Invest in public transportation systems that serve small, rural, remote and isolated communities such as the use of school buses and bus services that feed into regional centres.
- Commitment to equity
- Ensure transit accessibility for people on disability assistance by increasing the affordability of transit passes.
- Improve handyDART service to meet demand and to expand accessibility to evenings, Sundays and holidays.
- Ensure funding is allocated geographically and equitably across the province. Recognize infrastructure deficits for pedestrian, cycling and transit modes as well as limitations faced by rural, remote, geographically isolated and small communities as part of funding criteria.
- Consideration of Regional Needs
- Work with local governments to establish a Rural Transportation Strategy. Develop and invest in innovative community transportation systems, ride-sharing, tele-services and telecommuting options that can serve rural and remote British Columbians.
- Develop and support implementation of Winter City Guidelines that give residents the opportunity to be active all year long. This should include operational measures such as snow-clearing for active transportation networks and improved winter road maintenance.
- Support the Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council to pursue alternative funding mechanisms.
- Commitment to Safety
- Support the BC Road Safety Strategy Vision Zero: work with partners to create safer streets and to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries on the roads of BC. Speed limits should be reduced and strictly enforced, including through the use of cameras and other proven safety measures.
- Prioritize safety measures for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and those in wheelchairs and mobility devices.
1. Analysis by David Suzuki Foundation shows that although $4.75 billion in provincial funds was promised in the 2008 Provincial Transit Plan – eight years into the 12-year plan, only 23 per cent per cent ($1.1 billion) of the provincial contributions have been realized. DSF calculates that an average annual investment of $400 M would be required to bridge the funding gap and add the capacity and level of service necessary to reduce traffic congestion, increase ridership and meet the 2020 Climate Change goals as outlined in the 2008 plan.
2. $100 million is an estimate for BC based on our population and what leading jurisdictions spend per person, per year on active transportation infrastructure (Netherlands $40/person/year; Winnipeg $32/person/year; Brisbane $51/person/year; London $27/person/year). This may seem like a large request but not in terms of transportation infrastructure costs, for example this amount is very close to what the Ministry of Transportation is spending to renovate a single interchange on Highway 1.