Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

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Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Mike Cleaver » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:44 pm

So the mayors of the various communities that make up Metro Vancouver have voted to again ding drivers for another two cents a litre gas tax to finance the "welfare limousine" service.
That's on top of a previous gas levy to finance transit, a carbon tax, provincial and federal taxes and a levy on your electric bill, all to finance a service that can't even collect fares from many of it's riders.
Scofflaws have been hitching free rides on Skytrain and the Canada Line since they were built.
Maybe the transit system wouldn't be so cash strapped it it had installed turnstiles in the beginning, such as has every other transit system in the world.
It's time to make this inefficient system user pay and let people who never use it opt out of paying for it.
And get rid of the huge bureaucracy that "runs" it.
And while we're at it, police should begin enforcing traffic laws when it comes to buses that routinely run red lights or speed well over the posted limits.
They and cyclists seem to get a free ride from the cops while motorists pay through the nose for everything from gas to insurance to parking and yes, public transit.
For me, this latest gas tax increase will simply mean more trips to the states where it costs at least a third less to fill up the tank, even counting the drive there and back.
Add to that the 27 dollar a night hotels in Seattle, much cheaper food and wine prices, cheaper clothing and household items, lower taxes, more variety in everything, friendly service, cheaper air fares and a three day trip to the states make more sense every day because after 48 hours, each person can bring back $400 worth of goods duty free.
Raising the cost of everything in Vancouver simply drives people south where the savings are real and people appreciate your business.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Tape Splicer » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:19 pm

Was it not the mayors of "Greater Vancouver" in the day who wanted to have complete control of transit Including highways and bridges in the area? The provincial government of the day was very willing to give up responsibility and off load the costs for it all to the municipal level of government Christie Clark seemed quite happy to say it was up to the mayors to choose the funding and the provincial government would enable the choice that was made. (I wonder if in this civic election year she was thinking "glad it's not my taxing formula".)
The way the news reports sounded, the mayors weren't happy about the tax but they felt they had no choice. Perhaps Metro Vancouver's mayors should give up running transit along with local highways and bridges and let the Provincial government take it over again. But then again they won't want to give up the power... or would they?
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby PicturesForYourEars » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:55 pm

Turnstiles are currently being installed at half a dozen Skytrain stations (Burrard's elevator will be out of commission during construction well into the new year).

UNFORTUNATELY turnstiles will be a waste of money. Here's why:

Freddie Freeloader walks up to the bus which is loading at the Skytrain Station.
Tells the driver he doesn't have the fare.
The drive MUST hand over a transfer, if asked - it's Coast Mountain Bus Company POLICY!!!!!
Their policy is their driver must NOT enforce fares, to cut down on assaults.

Passenger leaves the coach... and walks up to the Sytrain platform fare in hand.
...LEFT PLACES I SHOULDA STAYED,
STAYED PLACES I SHOULDA LEFT...
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:27 am

Mike Cleaver wrote:latest gas tax increase will simply mean more trips to the states where it costs at least a third less to fill up the tank, even counting the drive there and back. Add to that the 27 dollar a night hotels in Seattle, much cheaper food and wine prices, cheaper clothing and household items, lower taxes, more variety in everything, friendly service, cheaper air fares and a three day trip to the states make more sense every day because after 48 hours, each person can bring back $400 worth of goods duty free. Raising the cost of everything in Vancouver simply drives people south where the savings are real and people appreciate your business.


Mike you might want to consider taking out papers to become a republican in the USA - you don't seem to happy with our lovely country Canada.

I don't like the border so I pay as I go here at local stores, gas stations, food markets etc. I would hate to be jobless and not have much retirement income but if I did I still wouldn't trek down to Seattle unless it was for a fun event not available in Canada.

Are we being gouged in Canada or do we have a system most of us support. I would hope you would take a more balanced approach to what is not good in America - high unemployment, housing crisis, debt owned by China, right wing governments, armies invading small countries, unbalanced budgets, crisis of leadership, federal government that doesn't work etc.

Sorry but for the price of a turkey, a tank of gas, a shirt or a night on the town - it is not enough for me to dump on Canada.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:28 am

Republican? Conservative?
You must have me confused with someone else.
All I was saying is that I object to being forced to pay for something I never use while others ride the system for free.
I love Canada too but as in the states, the so called middle class is taking a hit in the wallet.
I'm retired too (well, semi-retired) and despite paying the maximum yearly into the Canada Pension Plan since I was 14, I can't collect the full amount because my common law partner "makes too much money."
I've also paid the maximum into EI or whatever it's called today for my entire life and pretty much paid the maximum personal income tax every year except for the first couple of years of my working life because I always took on extra work outside my main employment.
I don't regret paying for things I use, such as Health Care, Fire, Police, roads, etc.
I do object to subsidized day care, expensive bike lanes for people who don't have to pay for a license or insurance to use them and handouts to people who are simply too lazy to work and welfare mothers with six children from six different men.
Almost every year here, Translink comes up with another scheme to take more money from taxpayers and they build the most expensive systems they can find and they don't even have turnstiles to make sure people pay.
Yes, that's changing now but people have been taking free rides at taxpayers expense on Skytrain since 1987!
Living in Oliver (which is a beautiful place) means you are very close to the border but to be honest, there's nothing on the other side within many hours of driving.
In Vancouver, it's 30 minutes or less to the border, five minutes to cross if you go at the right time, and an hour to Seattle and suburbs.
Down there, people appreciate your business and you don't get the surly "why are you bothering me" that you get from so many businesses in Vancouver.
50 cents of the cost of a litre of gas here now goes to various taxes and come next year, another two cents is being added to again bail out the transit system.
Vancouver would be broke without the drug trade and all the money pouring in from China.
Those are the only things that saved us from the recession.
Everything the government builds here comes in way over budget, the Limp Dick Athlete's Village, now being sold off at fire sale prices, the roof for BC Place at a half billion dollars and the vastly over budget Convention Centre.
Not only that, as we've suspected for years, the BC Government has consistently been lying about the true cost of "running" the province.
The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is building across the world.
People are sick and tired of the very rich stealing from them and giving nothing back.
So if going to the states to save a buck makes me a traitor, so be it.
Our American neighbours are having a much tougher time of it than we are.
I don't mind helping out by leaving some dollars down there.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby jon » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:41 am

Ironically, we have the opposite problem here in Edmonton. We have the lowest gas prices in the country. But gas taxes don't pay for our roads, property taxes do. The only reason our property taxes aren't out of control is because half the City's income comes from things like selling off EPCOR and Edmonton Telephones.

My point being that even those who only use the LRT (subway) are subsidizing the roads that drivers use. Yes, I admit that buses use the roads, too, but the wear and tear and capacity is mostly from/for cars and trucks.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Tape Splicer » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:22 pm

The system we live in isn't perfect... Everyone pays taxes - to a greater or lesser degree... One way or another we are all subsidized each other... and we all have the pleasure of complaining about it... That makes us all pretty much equal.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:43 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:So if going to the states to save a buck makes me a traitor, so be it.
Our American neighbours are having a much tougher time of it than we are.
I don't mind helping out by leaving some dollars down there.



Fair enough. :bag: I didn't call you a traitor - that was your word. I am trying to be friendly about this.

You mentioned you don't like paying for transit, a system you don't use. If healthy you never use a hospital
or public health, drugs or mobility devices. If you never drive around much you still pay for roads in BC, armies, navy, police and may never make demands on the system. If you don't break the law you never use the court system or the welfare system. All paid from taxes and sales taxes needed here in Canada.

Transit should be free - making it free means it would be utilized to a maximum degree and we could move away
from oil,gas and other carbon based fuels. We should be in electric cars. We have rivers and dams and should be the green and clean place on earth. Plant a tree. Must be an election time - time to rant.

As far as going to the USA - the last thing an American would ever say is " we need you Canada ".
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Coolcat » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:49 am

What's the price of gas in Oliver?
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby jon » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:47 am

Jack Bennest wrote:Transit should be free - making it free means it would be utilized to a maximum degree and we could move away from oil,gas and other carbon based fuels.

Funny, but when then B.C. Premier Dave Barrett made that statement around 1974, I was dead set against the idea. I had a simplistic user-pay philosophy.

Only over the last year have I come to the same conclusion. I guess it is just too many years of overhearing Edmonton people say "I drive because gasoline costs me less than a transit pass". It is now clear to me that all these years of trying to educate people of the "true costs" of driving, usually one person per car, and that it is a large number of times the cost of gas, was a total waste of time. Most people will never "get it", so the only option left is to make transit free.

Unfortunately, the cost of making transit free is not just the loss of fares (minus the costs of collecting/enforcing fares). In Edmonton, where "fare evasion" is a relatively small percentage of total ridership, the Transporation boss pointed out that free transit would require at least doubling the number of LRT (subway) cars. And very likely further expansion of LRT stations to take longer "trains", i.e. - more cars connected together. There also might have to be an upgrade to the electrical system to handle more cars running on the line.

I may be deluded, but I believe that the potential of free transit in Edmonton, when coupled with an adequately sized Park and Ride system, is to halve the number of personal vehicles on the road in rush hour. Since most roads here are built to handle rush hour volumes, and are underutilized the rest of the week, it would be a huge savings in road costs measured in the billions of dollars.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Jack Bennest » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:03 am

Each transit system should do this first - figure out the times when ridership is the lowest and make that period free - let's say 6pm to 6am

This should boost ridership and could prove the theory. Then you could move to free ridership 9am to 3pm if
that is a lighter time of the day.

Improve the need and the people will support the idea. At the same time increase downtown parking fees and fuel taxes.

Give exemptions to trucks, vans, freight vehicles and those that can prove they need to use vehicles. Promote
walking and biking.

Give exemptions to electric cars - and the small class car (Smart Cars). Promote living closer to work.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby radiofan » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:12 am

Jack Bennest wrote:Each transit system should do this first - figure out the times when ridership is the lowest and make that period free - let's say 6pm to 6am

This should boost ridership and could prove the theory. Then you could move to free ridership 9am to 3pm if
that is a lighter time of the day.

Improve the need and the people will support the idea. At the same time increase downtown parking fees and fuel taxes.

Give exemptions to trucks, vans, freight vehicles and those that can prove they need to use vehicles. Promote
walking and biking.

Give exemptions to electric cars - and the small class car (Smart Cars). Promote living closer to work.


I'm going to check the ballots in Oliver and see if there's a guy named Gregor Bennest running for councillor!
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby Howaboutthat » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:41 am

Jack Bennest wrote:Each transit system should do this first - figure out the times when ridership is the lowest and make that period free - let's say 6pm to 6am

This should boost ridership and could prove the theory. Then you could move to free ridership 9am to 3pm if
that is a lighter time of the day.

Improve the need and the people will support the idea. At the same time increase downtown parking fees and fuel taxes.

Give exemptions to trucks, vans, freight vehicles and those that can prove they need to use vehicles. Promote
walking and biking.

Give exemptions to electric cars - and the small class car (Smart Cars). Promote living closer to work.


Promote living closer to work?? Do you have ANY idea how expensive housing (purchase or rental) is in the Lower Mainland? There is no way a family of 4 could afford to live anywhere near downtown if both breadwinners happened to work there.
Or perhaps you'd like to give them free housing as well?
Don't go suggesting they get a job outside the downtown core either, while that's possible for some, most are simply hanging on to what they've got right now, and unlike certain flight attendants, are happy to have a job.
Free transit ridership at certain times of the day because of low usage? That won't increase the number of people using it... there simply aren't as many people riding at those times. Besides, it's blatant discrimination letting some ride for free while others pay full fare at other times because those are the times they MUST ride.
Or would you like to reduce fares as well? Where would the revenue come from to pay the overpaid transit jockeys who sit on their asses all day driving
Where do you make up all the lost revenue from all these exemptions you talk about? Like most politicians, you forget there is only one taxpayer!
The lower mainland's transit system is useless for anyone that doesn't work 9-5. Service on routes drops to every 30 minutes or every hour after 7pm, so if you miss a connection, you're screwed. Translink won't increase service because the usage doesn't justify it, and most employers, especially small businesses, don't have the flexibility to change hours.
Downtown parking fees are already the highest in the country. Increase them more?
'Promote walking and biking'. From where? Coquitlam to Vancouver?
I'm sure you have it nice in your little utopia, but please, this is a discussion for grown-ups who have to deal with the reality of cars, transit and weather on a daily basis.
Houston, We're dealing with morons!.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby jon » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:02 am

Jack Bennest wrote:Each transit system should do this first - figure out the times when ridership is the lowest and make that period free

Although it may not be related to my free transit discussion earlier, in terms of getting more people to use transit instead of a vehicle to work, one Edmonton experiment gone wrong did involve what Jack is talking about. Before the LRT crossed the river to the University (early 1990s), it was free in Downtown after Morning Rush Hour(s) and before Afternoon Rush Hour(s): 9am-3pm, I think it was. The purpose behind it was to increase retail business by getting downtown workers to shop downtown in their lunch hours.

The flaw was that they did not increase service in the downtown core during those hours, so it was really impractical to do much in your lunch hour since you spent most of your time waiting on an LRT platform.
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Re: Drivers penalized again at the expense of transit.

Postby kat » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:16 am

Howaboutthat wrote:Promote living closer to work?? Do you have ANY idea how expensive housing (purchase or rental) is in the Lower Mainland? There is no way a family of 4 could afford to live anywhere near downtown if both breadwinners happened to work there.
Or perhaps you'd like to give them free housing as well?


There is free housing within walking distance of thousands of jobs in the office towers of downtown Vancouver, The only problem is, the people that get that feee housing don't have jobs in those towers,
and they don't want jobs in those towers or anywhere else. They'd rather sit at home or on a curb in a daze waiting for their next welfare cheque to arrive so they can go out and spend another month's
"wages" getting high and getting drunk at the expense of the taxpayers of BC.

Howaboutthat wrote:Don't go suggesting they get a job outside the downtown core either, while that's possible for some, most are simply hanging on to what they've got right now, and unlike certain flight attendants, are happy to have a job.


Maybe we should clean up the Downtown Eastside and send all the residents to places like Smithers, Bella Coola, Cranbrook or maybe even Oliver. The area could be totally redeveloped and thousands of working
people could move into the city and leave the daily commute to Langley, Abbotsford or Chilliwack behind them. That would take a stack of cars off the roads, and ease the pressure on Translink. These new residents of the Downtown Eastside could then walk or ride a bicycle to work.


Howaboutthat wrote: Free transit ridership at certain times of the day because of low usage? That won't increase the number of people using it... there simply aren't as many people riding at those times. Besides, it's blatant discrimination letting some ride for free while others pay full fare at other times because those are the times they MUST ride.


Most of the current Downtown Eastside residents get free transit passes from Welfare while the working people have to shell out a couple of hundred bucks a month for the same pass.

Howaboutthat wrote: Or would you like to reduce fares as well? Where would the revenue come from to pay the overpaid transit jockeys who sit on their asses all day driving
Where do you make up all the lost revenue from all these exemptions you talk about? Like most politicians, you forget there is only one taxpayer!
The lower mainland's transit system is useless for anyone that doesn't work 9-5. Service on routes drops to every 30 minutes or every hour after 7pm, so if you miss a connection, you're screwed. Translink won't increase service because the usage doesn't justify it, and most employers, especially small businesses, don't have the flexibility to change hours.
Downtown parking fees are already the highest in the country. Increase them more?
'Promote walking and biking'. From where? Coquitlam to Vancouver?
I'm sure you have it nice in your little utopia, but please, this is a discussion for grown-ups who have to deal with the reality of cars, transit and weather on a daily basis.


Even if you work 9 - 5, the transit system is against you unless you live next to a skytrain station. There is no park and ride at skytrain stations north of the Fraser River, so you have to use a connector
bus or two to gert from home to the skytrain. This will usually double your commute time, and connections usually don't work out either. Most people just say screw it and continue to take the car to work
downtown and bite the bullet when it comes to paying a few hundred bucks a month for parking. (They can afford to do this because they now have subsidized daycare for their kids, that's another rant
for another day!)

From my home office just a short walk or bike ride away from the beach in White Rock, have a good day.

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