Canada — BC Premier Gordon Campbell and Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon announced a MAJOR cut in the province’s greenhouse gas emissions through an upgrade to the public transit system. At a total price tag of $14 billion, the plan is supposed to cut 4.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas that would have otherwise spewed out of personal vehicles. That’s roughly the same amount of exhaust produced by ALL of the cars and small trucks in Vancouver over a FULL YEAR.
Here are the project details:
- $1.6 billion for 1500 clean energy buses & maintenance costs
- $1.2 billion for 9 new RapidBus routes (high-capacity, energy-efficient service) in Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna
- $10.3 billion for 4 new rapid transit lines in Vancouver
- Increased security & convenience options for buying fares
- Hopefully completed in 2020
- Hopefully will double transit ridership
- Cost divided by TransLink, local, provincial, and federal governments
According to Premier Campbell, “The plan focuses on safe, comfortable, reliable services that will highlight green technologies and will reshape our communities by encouraging integration of work, home and recreational activities. It provides people with the choices they need to make a difference.”
According to Minister Falcon, “Increased transit will allow people more choice, and often time savings. For example, during peak periods, transit riders traveling between Coquitlam Centre and Vancouver International Airport can save more than an hour every day compared to drivers.”
…and its better for the environment! It just makes sense for everyone. This is a major victory for the emerging environmental movement and an example of what can happen with bold leadership, long-term planning, and organized eco-friendly citizens.