Seven reasons millennials should vote Yes in the transit plebiscite

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      Tax hike? Fuck no.

      That is pretty much the central intellectual argument put forth by Jordan Bateman and his loyal penny-pinching minion’s at the right-wing Canadian Taxpayers Federation. They cloak their general aversion to taxation of any kind by focusing their campaign of anger on TransLink and its perceived and, in some cases, real inadequacies.

      What Bateman fails to relay is that TransLink is not the ballot question. Transportation expansion, congestion reduction, and whether or not to fund these goals is the question.

      Here are seven reasons why voting Yes will be in your best interest.

      1. 80 percent more night bus service

      Anyone from the burbs who’s partied downtown on the weekends and missed the last SkyTrain knows the night bus service is infrequent, cramped, and in desperate need of expansion. By voting Yes you’re also endorsing a plan by the mayors’ council to increase services by 80 percent.

      2. More cycling paths

      For all the cycling enthusiasts, if the Yes side wins, get stoked for 2,700 kilometres of new bikeway trails in the Metro Vancouver region.

      3. Reducing congestion for drivers

      You don’t need to take public transit to feel the benefits of increased transportation options. Increased transportation options don’t merely take people out of cars but will also relieve congestion in Metro Vancouver by 20 percent.

      4. Surrey light rail line

      A Yes vote will help ensure Surrey will receive a light rail service that will extend all the way to Langley.

      5. Broadway subway line

      Voting Yes will green light a tunnelled SkyTrain line down the Broadway corridor in Vancouver.

      6. New Pattullo Bridge

      The Pattullo Bridge is rapidly deteriorating and frightening to drive on. If the transit referendum succeeds, a new bridge can begin construction.

      7. The reality of voting No will be much scarier than a slight increase of 0.5 percent in the sales tax

      Without necessary funding after taxpayers in Washington state rejected a similar regional proposal, their transit provider was forced to cut up to 25 percent of service on individual routes.



      Finbarr Saunders

      Feb 13, 2015 at 1:14pm

      LOL, nice try Zachary. But what you neglected to mention is not one of the 7 reasons you listed is even close to being guaranteed if the vote is "yes". What you've listed is nothing more than a hodge-podge wish list put forward by the mayor's council. They are all dependent on provincial and federal funding - which hasn't been obtained. The wish list hasn't been prioritized so there's absolutely no information about which would go ahead first.

      The harsh reality is that, should pigs fly and this vote passes, about 80% of the revenue raised will go to an unnecessary subway along Broadway. Why is there such a hard on for a subway down Broadway even though Translink's own studies show it would have a very negligible effect on reducing traffic congestion? As always, follow the money. Developers stand to make hundreds of millions of $$ putting up highrises around each station along Broadway. That's where your 0.5% PST will be going - to block out more views of the north shore mountains.

      What continually amazes me about this whole thing is how blind and completely clueless so many are who indicate they will vote yes. Their ignorance and naivety is incredible.


      Feb 13, 2015 at 1:18pm

      Sounds good in theory. Except in reality you would only get #1-6 if the Translink Board will manage the money properly. How likely is that? The Compass Card is a good idea in theory too, and it's still miles away from being implemented.


      Feb 13, 2015 at 2:27pm

      Thanks for a refresher of what people stand to benefit from the vote. I don't get peoples reactions to this referendum, Translink does have problems, but no more than other large organizations, and probably few than the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. To vote no to the proposed improvements because you don't trust Translink is likely just sending your money to freeway project (after all we will still need to get places, even if people vote no)....So how well did the MoTH manage the Port Mann????Think they will do better next time? Want to live near a freeway, or near a light rail line or frequent bus line?

      Finbarr Saunders

      Feb 13, 2015 at 2:37pm

      "Thanks for a refresher of what people stand to benefit from the vote."

      It sounds like you actually believe you will get that lovely list of benefits if you just vote yes. I refer you back to the last sentence of my first comment above.

      Steve y

      Feb 13, 2015 at 3:21pm

      does anyone believe that congestion will be reduced 20% even if a miracle occurs and everything gets built on time and under budget? Where do they get that number from it seems like a complete fantasy


      Feb 13, 2015 at 3:32pm

      If Translink is the disaster people say it is, why wasn't it a major issue in the last Provincial election? It wasn't even on the radar.

      Translink is just a convenient excuse for people who have more selfish motives for voting "no." They don't want to pay more taxes. That's all there is to it.

      Finbarr Saunders

      Feb 13, 2015 at 3:43pm

      @Steve y - no one believes it, with the exception of a handful of deluded individuals. Certainly the mayors don't believe it, and certainly Translink doesn't believe it. Their own studies show that these changes will have only a very minimal impact on congestion. Almost none.

      Thankfully many are coming to realize that this vote has absolutely nothing to do with alleviating congestion.


      Feb 13, 2015 at 3:44pm

      Steve y - mass transit is far more efficient at moving people than cars. It uses far less energy per person, and takes up far less space (road and parking space) than cars do. Space is a precious commodity in urban areas, especially those with limited area to expand like Vancouver. There are other benefits to mass transit as well - providing more equitable transportation, health benefits, and fewer traffic fatalities. It just makes a lot of sense to invest in public transit - far more than investing in freeways. Translink's imperfections shouldn't blind people to that.


      Feb 13, 2015 at 8:14pm

      To be fair I don't actually believe the mayors package will reduce congestion. Of course neither will new freeways. The mayors package will make it easier to get around, it will offer more choices, , it will move more people with the same amount of congestion. The other points in the article are bang on.

      Lifetime Metro Resident

      Feb 13, 2015 at 11:51pm

      Burnaby Bob, Translink WAS an issue last election.
      Christy didn't want to talk about it.
      She avoided the issue, and making any sort of decision, by promising a referendum.
      She then put a rookie with no background on the folio, and set in motion a series of events designed to sink the ship before it sailed.
      Unfortunately, she thought she could blame the Mayors, but it is becoming clear that the governance is broken, and that falls at her feet.