Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

IS REGINA MISSING THE BUS?

Posted by strattof on January 23, 2014

The past four years have seen a dramatic increase in Regina Transit ridership. In just the past two years, ridership has grown by a whopping 13.8%. That’s an additional 752,994 rides!

Still, in the past four years, there has been no significant increase in Regina Transit’s operating budget. Moreover, the surplus revenue from additional rides keeps being put back into general revenue.

Regina City Council is throwing Regina Transit under the bus (pun intended). It is forcing Regina Transit to try to improve transit service without any increase in the transit budget.

6 REASONS FOR IMPROVING REGINA TRANSIT
1. Transit cuts greenhouse gas emissions. One bus load of passengers takes the equivalent of 40 vehicles off the road, reducing emissions by more than 15,000 tonnes a year.

2. Transit is safe. In 2012 there were 6,012 traffic accidents in Regina, involving 1,624 injuries and 9 fatalities. Although Regina Transit’s fleet of buses is on the road 18 hours a day, in 2012 transit buses were only involved in 61 accidents, resulting in a mere 28 injuries and 0 fatalities.

3. Transit saves you money. Downtown parking costs on average $140 per month. Add fuel cost to that. A 30-day adult bus pass costs $62. If your employer participates in the Employer Pass Program, you will pay only $53 per month for a bus pass.

4. Transit saves Regina taxpayers money. Fewer vehicles on the read mean fewer dollars spent on repairing and building roads.

5. Transit gives you time to relax. You can read or meditate or chat on the bus with no safety worries.

6. Transit helps everyone. Folks who serve us in hospitals, restaurants, and stores need transit to get to work. Businesses need customers and workers to get there. Transit is essential for people who cannot afford, or do not have the health, to drive a car. It is also necessary for people who choose not to drive.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF USING PUBLIC TRANSIT

*Discover the history of Regina Transit: http://www.regina.ca/residents/ transit-services/regina-transit/transit-history/
*Google “It’s smarter to travel in groups” and watch three short, funny YouTube videos.
*Watch the PBS documentary Taken For A Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob2bYUtxlxs
*Read Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile, by Taras Grescoe, available at Regina Public Library.

HOW TO IMPROVE REGINA TRANSIT
To further increase ridership, transit service will have to be improved in the following ways:•

  • Extend transit service to new areas of the city
  • Make routes faster
  •  Provide more frequent service
  • Provide earlier and later service
  • Offer holiday and full Sunday service, following Saturday schedules
  • Double Paratransit resources and service

Because there has been no increase in its operating budget, Regina Transit has only been able to address the items in the first two bullets and these only in a limited manner: extending transit service to a few new areas and introducing some express routes.

Moreover, because of budget limitations, making these improvements has meant cutting back on service in older parts of our city.

DOWNTOWN FEEDER BUSES
Mayor Michael Fougere and some City Councillors are backing a plan that would force transit riders to transfer to smaller “feeder” buses to get to and from downtown. Imagine 40 transit passengers getting off a regular size bus with their purchases, strollers, and walkers and scrambling to get on a 20 seat feeder bus.

This is not a way to improve Regina Transit!

PARATRANSIT
In 2012, 1,400 calls for paratransit went unanswered because of a lack of resources. “Equal access for persons with disabilities to public services is a human right” protected under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and Canadian law (Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, 2013).

PUBLIC TRANSIT BENEFITS EVERYONE! TAKE ACTION

Let Mayor Michael Fougere and your City Councillor know you want

  • An annual 20% increase to the transit budget for the next four years.
  • All surplus transit revenue to be reinvested in Regina Transit.
  • The feeder bus plan to be scrapped.
  • The provision of enough paratransit buses and drivers for all calls for paratransit service to be answered. 

Mayor Michael Fougere  777-7339 or mayor@regina.ca

Ward 1: Barbara Young  539-4081 or byoung@regina.ca

Ward 2: Bob Hawkins  789-2888 or bhawkins@regina.ca

Ward 3: Shawn Fraser 551-5030 or sfraser@regina.ca

Ward 4: Bryon Burnett  737-3347 or bburnett@regina.ca

Ward 5: John Findura 536-4250 or jfindura@regina.ca

Ward 6: Wade Murray 596-1035 or wmurray@regina.ca

Ward 7: Sharron Bryce  949-5025 or sbryce@regina.ca

Ward 8: Mike O’Donnell 545-7300 or modonnell@regina.ca

Ward 9: Terry Hincks 949-9690 or thincks@regina.ca

Ward 10:Jerry Flegel 537-9888 or jflegel@regina.ca

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