“I regret the rejection of new funding for transit,” says City of Vancouver Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr, responding to today’s announcement of the 61 percent “no” vote in Metro Vancouver’s Transit and Transportation Plebiscite. But, says Carr, “I look at this as an opportunity for a different kind of transit planning in our city: citizen-involved planning that links the kind of city people want with the kind of transportation that will support it. This kind of planning and citizen engagement just didn’t happen prior to the plebiscite.”
“I had well over a thousand conversations with people as I campaigned for a “yes” vote during May. The “no” vote is only a rejection of what was offered to citizens on the ballot. Some people rejected Translink, some the process of having to vote at all, some the plan, some the tax. But in all those conversations I heard a big “yes” for a lot of things: “yes” for reforming the governance of Translink to provide local control and stable funding; “yes” for more open and transparent bottom-up instead of top-down planning; “yes” for a more community-friendly transit plan with a comprehensive network of transit routes,” explains Carr.
“Our job now is to reboot transit planning and link it to city planning as a whole. The “no” vote gives us a chance to re-think some fundamental issues, like can Vancouver be the greenest city and a 100 percent renewable energy city with diesel busses and concentration of resources on a few very expensive rapid transit routes? How do we pay for new transit? What is the citizens’ long-term vision for their city and what forms of transit and transportation will achieve that vision?
The Green Party of Vancouver will initiate discussions with citizens on these topics this fall.