What YOU told us about transit

Last week we asked you to share you're thoughts on Metro Vancouver's controversial Transit Plebiscite, and here is what you came up with. So far 84 of you have voted yes and 20 voting no - with a handful of ineligible and undecided mixed in.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey for sharing your ideas in a thoughtful and respectful way with our community.

Also, just a reminder for you all that we are not connected with the official yes vote of the Transit Referendum in any way - we are a bunch of people working on pipelines who care about this issue - but also want to create space for dialogue and diversity of opinion within our own movement.

Thanks for sharing - now for the results:

Enrique; No.

Niki; Yes.

Rob; Yes.
I already voted yes because we need more public transit and this flawed plan is better than the alternative.

Joan; Yes.

Dorothy; Yes.
Public transit is the only way to get traffic under control.

Anonymous; Yes.
I use transit at least 3 times a week and I truly believe we need upgrades to the system and further transit options. The No side has not given me any reason to believe that we will have the improvements any other way.

Dwight; No.
I do not trust Translink to spend the money wisely. Translink has way too many managers,and upper management. Translink does not do what the public wants.

Anonymous; Yes.
Would like to see an increase in bike paths, less congested car traffic and an increase in transit options.

Anonymous; Yes.

Jim; Yes.
Climate change, a desire to live in a walkable, bikeable neighbourhood and a region that is accessible to walkers and cyclists through good public transit options, and because spending on roads leads car dependent communities that are less healthy for people and the environment.

Cimreau; Undecided.
1. Translink executives are overpaid. They let an overpaid CEO step aside, but that just means he's being paid for the duration of his contract for doing nothing at all. I don't want to prop up a wasteful bureaucracy
2. Even more taxpayer money has been wasted on an aggressive "vote yes" campaign, which suggests the vote yes campaign doesn't respect my tax dollars or my independence in decision making.
3. Public transit is my main method of transportation, and expansions would be more valuable to me than most. Voting YES would be help me in the short term, but long term I'm concerned about propping up an out-of-touch company with incredible wage inequality.”

Kevin; No.
The utter failure of Translink to effectively manage public monies.

Anonymous; Yes.
Holding my nose and voting yes because at the end of the day, there are too many ramifications from voting no. ideologically, i would vote no. this PLEBISCITE came on way too quickly, giving people very little time to be well informed to make a decision. it also forced us to vote yes to everything or no to everything, creating simplistic answers to a very complex issue. where are the community dialogues where we can actively identify the real issues with public transit coming from the people who actually use transit! this plebiscite is also non-binding, meaning what is being proposed doesn't necessarily have to actually be followed through with. that is a lot of uncertainty for such an essential service. the rich and wealthy should be taxed to improve our transit system, not the poor/low-income/marginalized. and lastly, why i would have wanted to vote no, is because this plan has been built in the eye of the developer. notice the specific neighbourhoods/corridors they want to "improve" transit. these are all reserved spots for developers to build condos and promote gentrification and the displacement of people of have been living in their communities for decades.Why i am voting yes, despite the unfair plebiscite being thrust upon us without any proper and meaningful consultation, is that we really do need improved transit -- anything helps -- and that this may be the only time this topic will be put on the table.”

Randy; Undecided.
I am all for public transit but am concerned about the dysfunctional board. Wondering why we are voting on this when we never vote on other issues (I suspect it is set-up/manipulation of some kind from the BC liberal party}. Also I question the ongoing use of the over priced sky train technology and suspect their is some federal meddling in the process).

Mike; No.
Although debt service can be near zero by funding project with government bonds or financing through state owned banks like North Dakota does, we increase our costs fivefold by financing privately. A billion dollar project ends up costing taxpayers 5 billion and to make things worse, the foreign corporations which finance our infrastructure projects send profits out of our province - our tax dollars find their way into foreign banks. This model has been disastrous for Greece, Cypress, and much of Africa. It's called "AUSTERITY" It takes money out of the hands of lower and middle income people, they don't spend it in the local community, and things keep sliding down hill. Only fools imitate a model which causes disaster elsewhere.

Anonymous; No.
Firstly, I am offended by the attitude of the Yes ads. They start by assuming that Greater Vancouver will grow by a million residents in the next few decades. Did they ask me if this is something I want? Obviously this kind of growth is totally unsustainable, something I would expect Force of Nature to understand. … Did I ever say I wanted to pay for this? Did I ask for a million more residents further crowding our already overcrowded city and ruining our natural areas?Do we need better transit? Sure, but this isn't the way to fund it. Translink is terrible with money and they gouge us in many other ways. Oversight by Jimmy Pattison is a joke. He claims to not be benefiting by this, yet he has bought up so much property right next to where the planned transit hubs would go, this is such a blatant conflict of interest it should be investigated and blasted over all the news networks. I see no reason why average working class people struggling to get by should be subsidizing billionaires like Jimmy Pattison at 30 cents a day which is a lot of money when you add it all up.

Anonymous; Yes.
Less cars. More public transit.

Anonymous; Yes.
I think that we need better transit, less cars on the roads, better bike routes, and cleaner air.

Anonymous; Not Voting.
I am for better transit. I am against higher taxes for poor people. I am appalled at the way transit is managed and, even though I am a transit user and an environmentalist, I can't vote "yes" or "no" on this one....just can't.

Neil; Yes.
I usually take the bus into Vancouver when I go, and I think we already need better transit. Its definitely a good idea to improve it for when more people live in the region. Traffic congestion needs to be eased and greenhouse gas emissions need to be lowered.

Lucinda; Yes.
Everything - density of population, global warming, ease of mind of living sustainably.

Anonymous; No.
The .5 percent on the sales tax is just the beginning. As with the gas tax, it will start out as a modest amount, and as Translink is so incredibly skilled at wasting money, one can fully expect the Translink surcharge on sales tax will at least double each year.

Anonymous; Undecided.
As you so succinctly put it, I am very concerned about executive pay, lack of transparent governance, and the failed fair gate project. I have no faith that the Translink board has the best interests of us Lower Mainlanders at heart.

Elisabeth Winston; Ineligible.
I consider myself to be an environmentalist and as such I have dedicated myself to selecting environmentally sound choices when commuting such as cycling and transit. However, if I were eligible to vote in this referendum, I'm not sure that I would vote 'Yes.' My principle concern lies with the way that this province and the corporations that run major provincial projects such as ICBC and Translink use their funds. It sickens me to imagine that an increase in my taxes might further fatten a CEO's bank account under the guise of developing 'greening' projects. Basically I wish these same CEOs would just take funds from their salaries to further the cause of improved transit instead of stripping me of more of the money that I work so hard to earn and that just barely scrapes me by in this expensive city. I wish I could feel that voting yes would actually improve the transit system instead of going straight into the hands of the people who really deserve it the least.

David; Yes.
It is important to increase the amount of public transit as a way of reducing congestion, and lowering the cost of living in the region. If more people can get around without needing a car, then they can save the massive expense of owning one. This would decrease poverty.

Glenn; Yes.
Knowing that if the vote goes NO then the government will use this as the reason to cut back transit funding, saying that the public obviously don't want to spend money on it.

Anonymous; Yes.
A strong yes vote, while not binding on the government, and while it's very far from a perfect plan, tells all levels if government that the public wants effective public transit. If we vote no, they can continue to pretend it doesn't really matter to us.

Richard; Yes.
Chiefly the need to cut fossil fuel emissions. Also to deal with traffic congestion.

Oliver; Yes.
We need way more public transit

Penny; Yes.
Reports & information from CCPA, Ecojustice, David Suzuki, Council of Canadians, and local climate justice groups.

Paul; Yes.
The need to fight climate change and air pollution, as well as the need for an affordable, accessible public transit system.

Scott; Yes.
Lifelong transit user; Plus, a clear understanding that, as good as our transit system generally is, it will only attract significantly more riders when there is even better service levels.

Anonymous; Yes.
Primarily Carbon in the atmosphere. Secondary reason is Vancouver and the lower mainland has needed and will desperately need upgrades to Public Transit.

Emlyn; Yes.
Metro Vancouver needs this funding to be able to improve transit and therefore improve our quality of living, economic production, air quality, social equality and fight climate change. Good city planning requires excellent public transit to allow people to move efficiently throughout the city and region. The shortcomings of Translink have been vastly overstated. When taken in context of population size and service area covered Translink is one of, if not the most efficiently run transit agencies in North America. Many of the so-called "mistakes" that Translink has made have been mandated by the provincial government, including the fare gates. Translink is efficient, reliable and cost effective.

Anonymous; Unsure.
Transparency and accountability in part of Translink, with annual reports on how the money collected from Taxpayers will be (and has been) spent. Also decrease in the salary of the executive members of translink would strongly influence my voting to "yes".

Jennifer; Yes.
Good transit is an essential service that millions of people rely on everyday (including myself) and to vote against it is further disenfranchise already disenfranchised communities - lower in come families, students, the elderly and immigrants, who rely on this service to get them to and from school, work, hospitals, doctor's appointments etc. Building better transit is also crucial to stopping carbon emissions and saving our planet from irreversible climate change.

Anonymous; No.
We feel that the transportation issues for the lower mainland involve approximately half the population of British Columbia and it is for that reason that the responsibility should be a project for the Government of British Columbia. This will ensure that everyone, including the business sector, will pay for it.

Anonymous; Yes.
Traffic is increasing, carbon high, global warming knocking at our door. We need more and better transit.

Anonymous; No.
Because we pay a lot of tax in this province and the working class people , way is the reason they have to pay for everything, when our salary are frozen

Laura; Yes.
I want to continue to be able to commute to work downtown reliably and I think transit investments are necessary for the lower mainland to maintain (or improve!) the livability while growing the population.

Anonymous; No.
This plebiscite vote should not be taking place at all. This is a political manoeuvre by the "Liberal" (I use the term in quotation, because it is an embarrassment to the federal Liberals to use the same title). If this government put families first and truly had a budget surplus, they would do what is right for all who need to get around in the Lower Mainland.This offloading the responsibility of public transportation onto the public and various municipal governments as well. I will be voting no, not because of Translink (I couldn't care less about the salaries and other allegations of mismanagement); NO because this is not the public/municipal government's problem to solve. You want tourism and more taxpayers to come into the province, they make sure they can get around or we'll see they head elsewhere for a better quality of life. I agree that there is potential for congestion and overcrowding, but this problem needs to be addressed provincially as we can see the misuse of municipal funding going towards empty and unused bike lanes. The mayor's plan of having a green city is so out of sync with the real needs of this city, it is insulting to the citizens and taxpayers. The Liberals need to step up and get this going, much like they did with the $500 million dollar Sea-To-Sky highway. This province isn't broke, they are just choosing which areas they want to fund in infrastructure. As citizens, our voices need to be heard and the pressure needs to be put on them to respond to what we want. This issue has pitted citizens against each other in a Yes and No side artificial dichotomy. Nobody will say they don't want improvements to transit, I can guarantee that. However, why are we pushing on the wrong buttons to get our desired ends? There is so much at take and I feel that this plebiscite is going about the solution in the completely wrong way.

Anonymous; Yes.
We need to reduce greenhouse gas by getting more cars off the road. As a senior , I would like more frequent and less crowded transit options. I do have concerns that a subway is a more expensive and polluting solution than increasing electric trolleys.

Anonymous; No.
1. If priorities are properly managed, no extra taxes should be necessary in order to provide the infrastructure that we truly need.
2. The experience of Skytrain construction has taught us that developers feast on the station nodes, adding commercial and residential structures to the landscape that are invasive and out of keeping with the existing landscape. The likelihood of this occurring if skytrain is built out to UBC is particularly alarming. LIght Rail at grade could serve this section much better.
3. This plebiscite is, like so many, an omnibus. Signing off on the aspects that seem unquestionably beneficial involves accepting so much that is not.

Kai, Ineligible.

Anonymous, Yes.
This is a vote on critical transit issues, not a vote on TransLink or its performance.

Vince; Unsure.
I completely suppot expansion of transit. However transit has a reputation for poor money management. why are transit cops paid more than real cops?

Anonymous; Yes.
I recognise a need for better transit options in the GVRD

Helen; Yes.
In spite of the problems with Translink, it is important to look beyond to the wider issue of climate change and the important role of public transit in reducing dependence on oil.

Anonymous; Yes.
I think that improving transit options and convenience are one of the steps towards curbing climate change

Anonymous; Yes.
I believe that we need better transit, that expands to neglected, high populated areas. We need to make it more simple for citizens of the lower mainland to be able to commute. I think if we do not vote yes, Translink and the government are going to end up making these plans happen regardless and we may not like the alternative option.

Anonymous; Yes.
I live in Surrey and rely on public transit to get around Metro Vancouver. Surrey is the province's second largest city, yet we are grossly underserved by transit with the majority of buses running every half hour. The infrequent service is simply unacceptable for a city with nearly half a million residents.

Anonymous; Yes.
Transit doesn’t come free, but it makes life better for everyone in the region. We all want cleaner air, real ways for our youngsters and elderly to get around on their own, less frustration over how long we wait in line to drop kids at school, less fury over bottlenecks on the roads, and faster travel to key points like the airports and big malls. We want that – sure we do! And who hasn’t looked at cities where the transit is great and felt envy, right? So yes, it costs money out of our pockets. And we all growl about taxes. But we’re adults. Here we know what we’d get is really worth it: a dedicated stream of funding to build great transit here.

Anonymous; Yes.
The congestion on our roads is getting worse, not better. I can't imagine how awful it will be when we add more cars. We have to do everything we can to make it easier for people to live in safe, clean communities and get to good jobs.

Anonymous; Unsure.
I have not decided yet. but I know transit is a very important thing to address for the future. However I do not trust or respect the way BC transit has operated their money in the past. Why are they always broke and looking for money? Where is all that money going? IN a way - it is very untrustworthy to put more money in a place that is currently not handling the money properly.

Ron; Yes.
Cars are heavily subsidized but people are often dependent on them for lack of reasonable options. It is far cheaper for taxpayers to move people on transit that in cars. A city with fewer cars and more options is a healthier, safer, more vibrant and more livable city.

Anonymous; Yes.
I voted "Yes" and sent in my ballot weeks ago. As far as I'm concerned good public transit is essential for any city. It's pretty much a no brainer.....

Natasha; Unsure.
UBC 99 B line - at grade light rapid transit would be far more cost effective than a subway. With this plebiscite, the province is effectively shirking its responsibility for transit. The proposed tax is regressive in which poorer people will pay a greater portion of their income.

Victor; No.
I have no trust that the Translink Board will handle the revenue from an increased tax in responsible manner. I fully agree with and support transit improvement initiatives aimed at moving us away from automobile dependence. I fully agree that these initiatives must be done, but I don't buy the promotional campaign being run by the mayors' group that implies that if we vote no on the transit plebiscite we'll wake up the next day to a million more transit users and will be flying through the air wingless having driven ourselves off the edge of a cliff. The million more transit users will arrive at a projected average of 40,000/year over the next 25 years. So, while it's true we need to address our transit issues, it's not true that it'll be game over if we vote no in this plebiscite.

Anonymous; No.
Responsible people would have built a new Pattullo bridge which incorporated the skytrain rails. Once again the people lose and the privately financed contractors profit handsomely from two times the construction and two times the obscene costs of private financing. The "yes" side sound more like carnival barkers than responsible statesmen, and don' forget, all of the yes side is funded at the expense of we the people.

Anonymous, Yes.
getting older, needing to use public transportation, freaked out by Harper,s dismal values system on my beloved country. He is trashing our precious democracy.

Mavaddat; Yes.
Public transportation and cycling pathways are like tides that raise all boats. Whether you rely on transit or not, society at large benefits both economically and aesthetically from fewer cars on the road, more places to park, and greater accessibility for walking pedestrians.

Colin; Yes.
Improved transit is needed. The working poor, shift workers and the disabled are going to get large improvements, so to me it is an equity issue.

Anonymous; Yes.
This is a no brainer. We need proper transit. I would go a step further and provide Provincial and civic funding for free transit.

Caleb; Yes.
I have lived in the Lower Mainland all my life. I remember the Seabus coming online. Likewise the Skytyain, and the advent of the B-Lines. I remember being stranded on the UBC campus because I had missed the last bus which left long before the close of services out there. Likewise trying to get downtown, or home from downtown after a night out. This entire region needs to grow and expand. Transit is really the way to do it. People take the trains and rapid buses. The Canada Line to Richmond where I now live is filled to capacity already. The platforms should have been built to accommodate 10 or 12 cars, not two. Build a subway along Broadway and watch it fill to capacity on day one. Plenty of people will continue to drive their single occupant vehicles to work everyday from places like Langley and Port Moody. These systems are not being built for them. For those areas the bus services could be doubled or trebled. Put in a network of B-lines, maybe a fleet of van style buses as the bulk of suburban services seem to run half empty most of the time anyway. Perhaps the transit system needs to stop being run on a corporate, profit and loss model, and more as a subsidized way of getting people around. People coming and going, living their lives, are the backbone of a healthy culture and a healthy economy. Tie the transit system to the greater economic picture of a vibrant urban economy in our region, and the benefits become immediately obvious. Plus, what is being asked of us is one half of one cent tax on a dollar. $0.005. People need to ask themselves whether or not that figure truly represents a meaningful amount of money such as they would not be willing to put toward such a worthy cause in their day to day lives?

Anonymous; Yes.
I realize that there are two major issues.....one is Translink and the money they are paid....the second is oncoming traffic issues which will affect us all....so I chose to deal with the second issue first.....heaven knows what can be done with the Translink issue!!!

Anonymous; Yes.
traffic is becoming impossible in the lower mainland. This is going to get worse over the next years. we need MORE accessible public transit not less. The city will become unlivable if we don't vote yes!

Anonymous; Unsure.

Anonymous; Yes.
We are already choked by snail paced combustion engines getting everyone nowhere in a hurry. With housing prices so high, people have to lower their quality of life by commuting in the choked inefficient , polluting, energy sucking daily commute.

Anonymous; Yes.
My job - I see at lot of elderly people in the hospital who limit their participation in the community due to lack of transit options. They become very isolated which leads to poor health outcomes. The environment - we're far from having a sustainable culture. It's time for all of us to be better stewards of this beautiful earth.

Joe; Yes.
Common sense

Alyson; Ineligible.
The transit system in GVRD needs a complete overhaul. Until they can implement a better system that is faster and cost effective, I will drive. Maybe express busses? Maybe better zoning or per stop cost on the train? Maybe something that doesn't take me 2 hours on transit that takes 20 minutes in a car? I'm no expert, but the system is beyond broken. It hasn't worked since the 1990's.

Anonymous; Yes.
The increased traffic. Also there are still places that are hard to get to by transit.

Anonymous; Yes.
Climate change, regional affordability, air quality, getting people out of cars!

Gabrielle; Yes.
I take transit everyday in Vancouver. I'm almost 30 and proud to say I've never owned a car. There's no need in Vancouver. Transit + bike lanes makes for happier commuting.

Francis; No.
Poor Translink governance - throwing money into it will not fix the problem. Funding with PST is wrong - setting a poor precedent for future funding principle. Next time we need money to fix healthcare or housing, the government will ask for another PST increase. This is sending the wrong message to politicians. This is important infrastructure that affect 50% of BC population, the government need to work harder at solving this problem and not pass the responsibilities to the public. That's why we pay income tax and property tax and various other taxes. This is not even legal binding - just a very expensive survey. What a waste of tax payer money!

Greta; Yes.
better and an expanded transit system is sorely needed in the Lower Mainland to move people off roads and out if cars. i firmly believe if our transit system was better funded then people would use it.

Anonymous; Yes.
I already voted YES. Sure enough, Translink are crooks, and that they're gonna stay regardless of whether this project ever happens or not. So, I figured, for an extra 0.5% they'd at least be responsible for doing something good for a change. You can tell I'm not a huge fan of theirs.

Cathy; Yes.
Transit is very important. Of course there are problems at Translink but it's a public corporation so we know what it is doing, who is running it and how. Private corporations keep their big salaries and corporate policies secret. If we don't vote in favour of this plebiscite how can we expect positive change in the future?


Wendy; Ineligible.
I have not been resident in Vancouver for 2 years, although it was my home for the previous 20 years, I still have my stuff in a storage unit there and I could well end up back there in the next year. If I could have participated in the referendum, my vote would have been a resounding YES. I have been car-free since 1999 and used BC Transit on a daily basis. Expansion is necessary now, as is cleaning up the mess and ensuring it is managed and run efficiently from now on.

Anonymous; No.
Translink has not been able to get the compass going.

Anonymous; Yes.
Yes is a common sense vote and as a Grandfather I want to leave my grand kids a world with clean air and not full of toxins and pollution.

Michael; Yes.
too many cars heading downtown with single occupants. we need more effective bus and bike routes.

Anonymous; Yes.
Less traffic congestion, Less pollution.

Anonymous; No.
This plebiscite is about the right funding for transit in the Lower Mainland and this is the wrong funding mechanism. The regional mayors have tried to turn this plebiscite into whether people are in favour of transit or not, which is ingenuous to say the least. I am in favour of more transit. Who wouldn't be? I don't know enough about Translink to let it affect my vote, although I do believe that the politically appointed directors should be removed. My belief is that the revenue generated by the carbon tax should be used to fund transit. It was introduced to reuce carbon emissions in B.C., but unfortunately the Provincial Government has used that revenue to reduce corporate taxes, which is not the correct use of that money. So I am voting NO!!

Len; No.
"It is important to note that without exception these are all policies of the Provincial government, as is this referendum itself." I agree so the way forward is to elect a government (provincially and federally) that cares and has a social and environmental conciousness. We had the the chance to do that and look what happened (still can't believe that British Columbians are collectively that stupid). I am faculty at BCIT, we have recieved a 1% raise for each year for the next 5 (not the 3% anually that our MLAs have given themselves). Food is up 6% or more, property taxes in Coquitlam up 3%, Hydro up 6%. Sorry. People should think ahead next time they vote.

Dylan, Yes.
Better transit makes better society.

Anonymous, Yes.
Less reliance on fossil fuels and reducing infrastructure now.

Anonymous, Yes.
Regardless of politics and opinions on Translink management, investments in transit are needed. Based off what we've seen in the U.S., a 'No' vote could set Metro Vancouver back 7-10 years.

Anonymous; Yes.
Environmental as well as access to better transit for all. I am not a fan of oil and gas guzzling mobile units…we need clean transportation and more of it…trains that travel to outlying areas as well need to be put in place…less highways inviting more vehicles

Ann; Yes.
The plan makes sense

Alexandra; Ineligible.
I'm not eligible to vote, but I would have voted no if I could because although this is a good idea, I feel that Translink has a lot of money that they are squandering instead of putting to use, and as a result don't need additional money from taxes.

Anonymous; Yes.
More services needed & more areas to get to. Pay now not later

Anonymous; Yes.
I have had to, or decided to take transit many times in my life and it was always difficult. My mother didn't drive so we often took the bus. They didn't always meet and there was often alot of waiting. I also took the train from Maple Ridge to downtown for work for many years and again had to wait, sometimes more than an hour for a bus to connect heading home. It's really hard to take the bus when you have a car that is more convenient and I do drive now because the transit route would be impossible from Maple Ridge to North Vancouver at 7am.But the reason I am voting yes is that alot of people don't have the choice to use their car. They can't afford it. There only way to get around is by bus. I really don't even think it should have been brought to a vote as the people who need transit are the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens. I am also pleased that Jim Pattison is overseeing the finances because I feel he can be trusted to run things in the leanest way possible and get results. We need to make public transit more inviting so that people will chose transit over driving and that will help with the congestion and the environment.

Anonymous; Ineligible.
If I lived in the Vancouver area, I would vote against the proposal to increase the PST to fund enhanced transit. I believe an increase in gas taxes and road tolls would be a more direct approach to raising funds.

Shirley; Yes.
We need to move to a sustainable society not dependent on hydrocarbons.

Anonymous; Yes.
Our region needs to expand it’s transit system and I am in full support of paying a small amount of extra tax to pay for it.

Clara; Yes.
We need more transit, busses are already packed and leaving people behind, as are skytrains, canada lines, sea busses, etc.If Vancouver continues to grow at the rate that it is growing, transit is the most effective and efficient way to move people around. We simply cannot have a greater proportion of single-driver vehicles on the road and still expect to move around.

Anonymous; Yes.
Would like less gas pollution and traffic. The tax is low. They should have free parking areas near skytrain stations.