Have Christi’s Liberals Washed Their hands of Public Transit?
Two items in the Tyee, How BC Taxpayers Ended Up Paying for the $3.5-Billion Massey Bridge and To Critics, Massey Bridge Is an Environmental and Planning Disaster underscore the present governments reluctance to plan for a usable and affordable public transit system in Metro Vancouver.
The Liberals have always been a “blacktop” political party with “rubber on asphalt” being the big election vote getter. The South Fraser Perimeter Highway and the rebuilt Port Mann Bridge are a testament to this election strategy.
Public transit is no different.
Like he NDP in the 90′s with the Millennium Line, Gordon Campbell built transit to suit his electoral needs. The Canada Line was supposed to be a showcase P-3 project, but instead it is a truncated white elephant, virtually useless as rapid transit as it has increased journey times from Richmond South Delta and Surrey to Vancouver for the hapless customers as they are forced to transfer from bus to the Canada line.
TransLink may chortle about high ridership, but the Canada line has limited ridership and costly to operate, with TransLink paying over $110 million annually to the operating consortium. The Canada Line is no showcase, instead it has become a classic ‘White elephant’.
The present government is not interested in public transit at all and has left a squabbling “Mayor’s Council on Transit”, to fight over which vanity project they want, without any funding for any ‘rail’ project.
The BC Liberals, like their federal brethren will only spend money on transit if they believe it will garner them votes and sadly for BC, the ‘sad sack’ TransLink has made regional transit a vote loser as last years plebiscite showed.
Transit will be all but ignored by the BC Liberals, with only vague promises of rapid transit here or commuter rail there will be heard in the coming election campaign.
The BC Liberals have washed their hands of public transit.