Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

UBCM delegates receive hopeful vision for transit future

UBCM delegates received a hopeful vision for the future of BC’s transit system from Mike Davis, Victoria Manager of Planning and Scheduling for BC Transit today that involves integrated communities that are socially, financially, and environmentally sustainable.

“We’ve been building for the automobile for 30 or 40 years. If that created great quality of life, we should see good examples of it all over the continent, and we don’t,” he said, quoting famous international planning consultant Gil Penalosa.

“We go places for holidays that are non auto-oriented, and we wish that our homes were like that.”

Davis briefed the delegates on the strategic planning process that BC Transit is conducting in response to the BC government’s goal to double transit ridership in the province by 2020. Over the next several years, he told community leaders, BC Transit will conduct regional meetings around the province to develop 25 year transportation plans for each community in an effort to reach the province’s goal.

Consultations have already begun in larger cities such as Kelowna and Victoria, and BC Transit will work their way down to smaller communities.

Davis emphasized that in order to increase ridership, transit systems need to be able to compete with cars in terms of speed, safety, and cleanliness, and must engage with communities and be responsive to their needs.

“We need to change the perception of transit, align ourselves with cycling, walking, place-making. It’s part of the future that many of our customers and our residents view as where we should be headed to is a much more people oriented than car oriented community,” Davis said.

“People oriented communities are healthy communities. Healthier communities are transit oriented communities. Transit and that healthy lifestyle go so well together, and those become part of your economic rationale, and why people choose your community to stay in, and live in a work in, and not go somewhere else.”

All of that depends, however, on funding. Davis emphasized the necessity of financial sustainability and predictability of funding from both the cities themselves and the province. With both of those things in place, he said, world class transit systems could spread all throughout British Columbia.

“It’s quite achievable if you put that vision out there and you organize your resources,” he said.

BC Transit’s Strategic Plan is scheduled to be finalized by December of this year.

Christine McLaren reports for The Tyee.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus