Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for May 4th, 2011

Frustrated municipal politicians want more say on B.C. Transit

with 9 comments

When I first saw the headline in the Times Colonist, I wondered why municipal politicians in the rest of BC felt that it was any more likely that they would get any more input than their colleagues in Greater Vancouver (I think I am going to follow the example of  Ken Cameron and refuse to call it “Metro”).

They are, of course, quite right. The way the Province behaves with respect to transit and the municipalities is disgraceful. And it always has been. Though politicians both left and right pay lip service to the idea of “partnership” once they get their hands on the levers of power, they do not like to share them with anyone. The story mentions one reason that BC Transit is  taking more money is because it has “to pay for 100 new buses it bought for the 2010 Winter Olympics”. Those were of course bought for Whistler – and included the ridiculously expensive hydrogen fuel cell buses. The nonsense of the “hydrogen highway” that Campbell liked to boast about with Arnie was made manifest when it transpired that the “zero emission” fuel was being trucked here – from Quebec!

Whistler fuel cell bus - photo by Chris Cassidy on flickr

Whistler fuel cell bus - photo by Chris Cassidy on flickr

Of course property taxes should not be plundered to pay for this kind of grandstanding. Maybe Christy Clark can clean up some of this since she was out of the way when it happened – and perhaps get some credit for her actions. Certainly it does not look as though the new transportation Minister has mastered his brief yet.

Lekstrom said he was unaware of the request for the meeting and could not comment.

That of course is code. It is probably too early in the term for anyone to know what they are supposed to be doing on every issue and I think the municipal politicians are being very strategic in getting their point of view into the press now.

I am cynical, of course, but I would be very surprised if much different happens. But then I was also surprised that parking charges in provincial parks were ended this week.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Posted in transit