[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.

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[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 News] Ask Victoria Council to Approve BTA’s Climate Friendly Transportation Motion! – More updates & actions

Ask Victoria Council to Approve BTA’s Transit & Climate Motion!

At the request of the Better Transit Alliance, Victoria City Councillors Jeremy Loveday and Ben Isitt have crafted a motion based on the BTA’s open letter on climate-friendly transportation investments! The motion is titled “Advocacy to Shift Investment to Low-Emission Transportation.” The motion reads: Continue reading “[BTA News] Ask Victoria Council to Approve BTA’s Climate Friendly Transportation Motion! – More updates & actions”

Sign our open letter on climate-friendly transportation investments!

Prime Minister Trudeau, former Premier Clark and most of Canada’s premiers signed the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in 2016. This Framework contains a policy shift that could fund much better transit in our region, and reduce climate pollution. But this likely won’t happen without local support!

The Framework commits the federal and provincial governments to “shift from higher to lower-emitting types of transportation, including through investing in infrastructure.” This means investing more in better transit and less on urban highways that just become congested again.

So if you want better transit, and effective climate action, read and sign the open letter today!

Bus lanes on the Douglas / Highway 1 corridor would be completed quicker if the Climate Framework was implemented