Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

PUBLIC TRANSIT IS THE SOLUTION

Posted by strattof on April 20, 2014

When it comes to public transit, Regina needs an attitude makeover. We tend to see transit as the problem, when, in fact, it is the solution to many of our problems.

Take the problem of traffic congestion on 11th Avenue. Some city officials have proposed removing regular transit buses from 11th as the solution to this problem. Such a policy would, however, have the opposite effect. By discouraging people from using public transit, it would increase traffic congestion on 11th Avenue.

FACTS

  • A regular transit bus seats 40 passengers.
  • A regular busload of passengers takes up far less road space than 40 cars.

The past four years have seen a dramatic increase in transit ridership. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, it grew by a whopping 13.8%. It is a trend that needs to be encouraged, not discouraged.

PUBLIC TRANSIT IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM 

Increased transit use is the solution to many of our city’s problems, including:

  • Traffic congestion on 11th Avenue
  • Downtown parking
  • Rush hour traffic jams

Public transit also has a number of advantages over private vehicles:

Transit saves you money.Downtown parking costs on average $200 per month. 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.

Transit is relaxing. You can read or meditate or text on the bus with no safety worries.

Transit is safer. Studies show that transit is safer than driving a car. Transit travel has about a tenth of the traffic injury or death rate as car travel; and residents of transit-oriented communities have about a fifth the per capita crash casualty rate as in car-oriented communities.

Transit also makes streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Transit is a common good. It benefits 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.

We need a transportation system that does not privilege the car over other forms of transportation.

TRANSIT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Public transit not only provides solutions to local problems. It is also part of the answer to a major global problem: climate change. Last week, the UN issued its most dire warning about how rising carbon emissions are affecting lives in every region of the globe, including Canada.

FACTS

  • Transit cuts carbon 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.

IMPROVING REGINA TRANSIT

To further improve ridership, transit service will have to be improved in the following ways:

  • Extend transit service to new areas of the city
  • Provide more frequent service
  • Provide earlier and later service
  • Offer holiday and full Sunday service

However, to improve service, transit needs more financial support. In the past four years, there has been no significant increase in transit’s operating budget. Moreover, revenue from additional rides, as well as from ads, keeps being put back into general revenue.

PARATRANSIT

Kudos to Regina Transit for making its entire fleet of buses accessible to those with mobility issues.

Now the city needs to turn its attention to Paratransit where, because of a lack of vehicles and drivers, requests for service often go unanswered. “Equal access for persons with disabilities to public services is a human right” protected under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and Canadian law.

TAKE ACTION FOR EARTH DAY: APRIL 22

Help forge a sustainable future. Start riding the bus. 

TAKE ACTION FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT

Remind Mayor Michael Fougere and your City Councillor that public transit is the solution to many of our city’s problems. Let them know you want:

  • An annual 20% increase to the transit operating budget for the next four years.
  • All surplus transit revenue to be reinvested in Regina Transit.
  • 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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