BC Budget fails to make real investments in transit
VICTORIA – The BC government’s failure to make real investments in transit funding in the 2016 Budget will impact growing communities across BC, says MoveUP President David Black.
“People across BC depend on our transit system everyday to get to work, home and around their communities and the BC Liberal government hasn’t made investing in this crucial part of our infrastructure a priority,” said Black.
He said that the money allocated to transit is basically flat and doesn’t begin to address many of the current transit needs, let alone future expansion.
Much of the money is already earmarked for projects like the Evergreen Line completion, and the continued implementation of the Compass Card – projects that are already long overdue and over budget.
“An increasing number of our members not only work in transit, but rely on buses and SkyTrains everyday to get where they need to go,” said Black. “This budget shows that we aren’t going to get the transit investments that people need over the next few years.”
Black noted that the budget fails to address the growing needs of transit users outside Metro Vancouver as well. There is no increased funding for BC Transit in 2016/17 and only minor increases to $7 million over the following two years. With communities on the Island and in the Interior growing and densifying, more accessible and reliable transit services are a necessity.
“It’s also disappointing that while the government claims to want to focus on greener, cleaner forms of transportation, this budget fails to make even basic investments to expand public transportation throughout the province,” said Black. “It seems that if you can’t afford to buy an electric car, you’re out of luck.”