[BTA News] Action Needed: BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you (Deadline Aug 24)

In this newsletter:
• BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you
• Help get the Highway 1 Bus Lanes Completed – Write to your MLA

BC Government’s climate plans need a push, from you
The BC Government recently outlined some of their high-level ideas on climate action in a set of discussion papers. The transportation proposal is weak, and incomplete – with more ideas promised later. There are some very good things in these discussions papers, including a vague commitment to increase transit funding. But the government needs a push from you to show there is strong public support for prioritizing transit over urban highway expansion.

Transportation accounts for 39 percent of B.C.’s GHG pollution and the paper notes that “emissions from transportation are rising – up 1% since 2007”. The provincial NDP’s commitment is to reduce GHG pollution from transportation 30 percent below 2007 levels by 2030 – about 2.5 percent per year.

The transportation discussion paper mentions the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, but does not discuss the fact that this federal-provincial climate agreement already commits the government of B.C. to shift spending away from things that increase carbon pollution, such as urban highway expansion, to low-carbon transportation including public transit, walking and cycling. There is no way for us to meet our GHG targets if governments continue to spend billions on projects that increase GHG pollution.

One example of how much money is on the line is the proposal to replace the four-lane Massey Tunnel with a ten-lane freeway bridge costing over three billion dollars. The NDP government has put the ‘Massey Bridge’ boondoggle on hold, but have not cancelled it yet. A Greater Victoria example is that the McTavish and McKenzie Interchanges have cost over $100 million. Public transit must be a much higher priority in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure budget to meet BC’s climate target.

Better Transit Alliance Member Eric Doherty has written more about these issues in the National Observer.

The provincial government wants to hear what you think about their discussion paper on climate action in the transportation sector. Please sit down with a cold drink and email your thoughts to clean.growth@gov.bc.ca before August 24th (and please send us a copy of your submission to bettertransityyj [at] gmail.com)

Help get the Highway 1 Bus Lanes Completed – Write to your MLA

As you may have noticed, construction is well underway on the 24/7 bus lanes on Douglas Street and on parts of Highway 1. In addition the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is reviewing design specifications for the southbound Highway 1 shoulder bus lane from the Burnside Bridge to Tolmie.

We expect that the provincial government will soon announce funding to fill in the gap, and complete the bus lanes all the way to the 6-Mile Pub (See Map). This project could be completed quickly and for a very reasonable cost, once the funding is approved. It is time to get the Highway 1 bus lanes built, and then start on the Pat Bay Highway bus lanes.

Please write to your MLA to:
• Urge them to move immediately to complete the fill in the gap, and complete the Highway 1 shoulder bus lanes all the way to the 6-Mile Pub area.
• Tell them why better public transit is important to you, and urge them to make better public transit an even higher budget priority.

Want more frequent updates? Check out our Facebook and Twitter accounts!

Better Transit Alliance Makes Car Free Day News

Dads find Car Free YYJ tailor-made for Father’s Day
Jeff Bell / Times Colonist
June 17, 2018

BTA Members Sue & Robin take a break at Car Free Day

The World’s Coolest Dad — at least, that’s what his T-shirt said — spent part of his Father’s Day at the annual Car Free YYJ celebration on Douglas Street.
Jason Rolstone and 14-year-old daughter Katie strolled through the growing throng just before noon to get to a lunch date with his parents. Rolstone said he is a fan of the car-free gathering.
“It’s a wonderful event.” Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance Makes Car Free Day News”

[BTA News] Car Free Day Sun June 17 (Volunteers needed!) – Help get the Hwy 1 bus lanes completed

In this newsletter:
• Visit or Volunteer with the Better Transit Alliance at Car Free Day
• Help get the Highway 1 Bus Lanes Completed – Write to your MLA
• Central Saanich Community Association forms Transit Committee
• Write a letter to the editor today!

Visit or Volunteer with the Better Transit Alliance at Car Free Day

On Sunday June 17th (Father’s Day) the Better Transit Alliance will be at Car Free Day on Douglas Street in Downtown Victoria. We would love to have you drop by and chat any time between 11am and 6pm. And we would love it even more if you could volunteer to help out for a few hours. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at bettertransityyj [at] gmail.com. It is fun, and no experience necessary! (The Better Transit Alliance is an all-volunteer organization, without volunteer energy we would not exist). Continue reading “[BTA News] Car Free Day Sun June 17 (Volunteers needed!) – Help get the Hwy 1 bus lanes completed”

BTA Letter to editor in TC – Get bus lanes rolling now

Times Colonist May 19, 2018

Re: “Horgan puts brakes on light rail for E&N,” column, May 16.

I’m glad Premier John Horgan is focused on getting the Douglas Street/Trans-Canada Highway bus lanes completed before moving on to more complex transit projects.

The 24/7 bus lanes on Douglas Street and parts of the Trans-Canada Highway are already under construction. Completing the highway shoulder bus lanes as far as the Six Mile Pub area will be simple, inexpensive and quick. It is a good project, and should not be left half finished.

Now that electric buses cost about the same as diesel buses over their lifetime, bus lanes can provide climate-friendly, quiet, fast and inexpensive transportation. Horgan’s climate action plan won’t be released until the fall, but he should get the bus lane completion rolling today.

Tomorrow he should start ordering hundreds of electric buses.

Eric Doherty
Better Transit Alliance of Greater Victoria

www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/get-bus-lanes-rolling-now-1.23307893

Better Transit Alliance on front page of Times Colonist

Bus-lane extension to speed commute to West Shore
Lindsay Kines / Times Colonist
March 8, 2018

Transit riders can expect a slightly faster commute to the West Shore this fall once work concludes to extend the northbound rapid bus lane on Douglas Street.

B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Wednesday that Jacob Bros. Construction Inc. of Surrey won the contract to build a priority bus lane from Tolmie Avenue to the Burnside Bridge, where Burnside and Interurban roads cross under the Trans-Canada Highway. Continue reading “Better Transit Alliance on front page of Times Colonist”

[BTA News] Good news edition! $7 million/yr for better transit, bus lane progress & more

Provincial budget a 7 million dollar step in the right direction

The NDP government’s recently released budget includes a two cent per litre increase in the tax on gasoline and diesel to raise about $7 million per year for better transit. Local government representatives and the Victoria Transit Commission have been calling for this essential funding increase for years. This is very good news! Continue reading “[BTA News] Good news edition! $7 million/yr for better transit, bus lane progress & more”

Finish bus lanes to West Shore – Better Transit Alliance Letter to TC

Shoulder bus lane on Highway 99 in Richmond BC

Times Colonist Letters to Editor
February 25, 2018

Re: “For now, the Crawl lives on,” column, Feb. 16.

It’s good news that the provincial government is proceeding with the next section of bus lane on Douglas Street in Saanich. The Better Transit Alliance also agrees with columnist Jack Knox that “continuous, dedicated transit lanes between downtown and the West Shore, allowing buses to blow past the Crawl” is a practical way to provide congestion relief. Continue reading “Finish bus lanes to West Shore – Better Transit Alliance Letter to TC”

Victoria BTA member’s letter pushes CRD to defend CRD Transport Plan

Adding blacktop solutions to handle more vehicles not the answer, reader writes
Jan. 14, 2018

Re: Regional transportation authority has mayors at odds (vicnews.com, Jan. 11)  Langford Mayor Stew Young has convinced me that a Capital Regional District transportation service is a good idea.

He suggests that ‘experts’ in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) should make decisions for the region. Continue reading “Victoria BTA member’s letter pushes CRD to defend CRD Transport Plan”