Welcome to the campaign to make intercommunity public transit province-wide. Now that the BC NDP has a majority government we need to press them for a public transit network for all British Columbians. Take the Pledge here We are also calling for endorsements from citizens and interested groups across the province. This includes the Union of BC Indian Chiefs which has written to NDP Premier John Horgan in support of the campaign: In the letter the UBCIC points to British Columbia’s longstanding transit scarcity “especially in rural and northern communities, which disproportionately impacts Indigenous peoples.”
Citing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UBCIC explains that “accessible public transportation is a key component of (UNDRIP), as it is needed for everyone to have access in and out of isolated communities.” In the letter to Horgan, the UBCIC also points out that “many areas of the province are without any regional transit system, and rely heavily on private transportation services such as taxis and private charters.”
The Union of BC Indian Chiefs says transit services to First Nation communities have been, at best, infrequent and expensive. “Communities with insufficient transportation services experience greater risks and limitations to meeting their needs. The Highway of Tears is one of several examples where insufficient transportation disproportionately exposed Indigenous women and girls to sexual harassment, assault, and murder. We note that the Highway of Tears bus was finally introduced in 2018; while it was a step in the right direction, much more work needs to be done to address transit scarcity.” UBCIC joins the call for the province to take the necessary steps now to build a unified, provincially-owned and operated public transportation system across BC, bridging communities and making transportation accessible for all. The complete UBCIC letter is available here: UBCIC_PublicTransitBCWide
The current system just doesn’t adequately address the safety concerns, economic interests or social needs of our citizens, many of whom live in rural areas, small municipalities or remote communities. Lots of those smaller communities have no access to public transit or even a taxi service. Instead, transit across BC is a patchwork of good service, poor service and no service at all, depending on where you live. Reliance on private companies to provide transit services has left us stranded when those companies shut down or move on.
We need a clear, multi-faceted, inter-community network that coordinates all modes of transit and takes into consideration current reality and foreseeable transit needs: one for all British Columbians.
We want a commitment and immediate action from the provincial government on public transit to create a comprehensive, forward looking system. That publicly-owned and operated system must fulfill the safety, economic, environmental and social rights of all of British Columbians. It should connect us all – from our largest urban centres to our smallest municipalities.
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