Stephen Rees's blog

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

New BC Bus Pass for PWD

InclusionBC just tweeted a link to a BC Government Fact Sheet – which is a pdf document. I decided to cut and paste the text of that here. Comments have been closed.

The Annual BC Bus Pass Program and the new Transportation Supplement for People on Disability Assistance

Beginning January 1, 2018, people receiving disability assistance, with the Person’s with Disabilities (PWD) designation, will get an extra $52 each month for a new transportation supplement.

The supplement creates fairness and will help people connect with their community, giving them freedom to work, shop, and participate in social activities.

How to use the Transportation Supplement for an annual bus pass:

 If someone with a disability who is on assistance would like an annual bus pass they can contact the Ministry of Social Development at 1-866-866-0800 or visit the BC Bus Pass Program website.

 If someone already has an annual BC Bus Pass and they want to keep it, they can. They don’t have to contact the ministry. Beginning with the January 2018 payment they will no longer have $52 deducted from their support payment.

 The BC Bus Pass can still be used in both TransLink and BC Transit areas.

How to use the Transportation Supplement for other transportation needs:

 If someone does not want or need a bus pass they can use the supplement to pay for other transportation costs (for example, HandyDART or a taxi).

 They don’t have to contact the ministry the $52 Transportation Supplement will be automatically added to the January 2018 payment.

More information about the supplement:

 As people’s needs may change over time the new supplement will provide flexibility. People can apply for the BC Bus Pass at any time during the year. They can also cancel their bus pass at any time and use their supplement for other transportation needs.

Why government made this change:

 Transportation is important to everyone on disability assistance.

 Government consulted with stakeholders and asked for their advice on the best approach to improve the system of transportation supports.

For more information:

Go to: www.buspass.gov.bc.ca or call: 1-866-866-0800

Written by Stephen Rees

October 3, 2017 at 10:23 am

Posted in Transportation

Jagmeet Singh on Transit

with 4 comments

I am not a member of the NDP and haven’t really been following their leadership race, but congratulations to Jagmeet Singh for securing the leadership. He says (on his blog)

a Jagmeet Singh-led government will:

Adopt a National Public Transit Strategy: Canada is still the only country in the G8 without a national transit program and people across Canada are looking for more affordable, reliable, and accessible public transit options. Congestion in our urban centres is hurting both our economy and our environment. A Jagmeet Singh-led government will implement a National Public Transit Strategy that will provide the long term and predictable funding for public transit that cities and communities across the country are seeking.

This appears under the “Carbon Emission Reduction” section. Good.

Now perhaps some of the dippers who read this blog can explain to me how a leader can impose his will on the rest of the party. I come from a UK Labour Party background where policy commitments of this kind have to be endorsed by the annual Party conference (convention in North American parlance). While a leader can espouse a policy, it is the membership at large which determines policy. And if you have a taste for such things try a search for “Clause Four” to see where that leads to.

I am, as I said, heartened by this commitment. But to what extent is this reflective of what the party rank and file actually want? Aren’t the big supporters of the NDP the union members in the car industry?  Isn’t that where most of the big bucks come from in the national party? 

The last bit has been deleted in response to a comment.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

How many people move per hour …

with 2 comments

This graphic was posted to twitter this morning by Brent Toderian. It comes from Dale Bracewell the Manager of Transportation Planning at the City of Vancouver.

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 9.11.46 AM

Most people still think that widening streets and adding lanes for more cars will somehow help congestion. In fact that simply induces more traffic and makes matters worse. If more people chose to use bikes and walking for short trips – which are in fact the majority of trips in the city – there would be less traffic. What we need to concentrate on is the number of people being moved, not the number of vehicles. Using  cars with a capacity of five or more people to move just one or two people is clearly a waste of space – not just the 3 metre lane width on streets but the parking spaces needed to accommodate cars when they are not being used – which is most of the time. There are far better uses for urban land than storing vehicles.

Clearly even if we cannot afford lots more skytrain lines, we could be moving lots more people if we had bus lanes in the City of Vancouver. There are not many at present, and most are peak hour, peak direction. The City cannot do very much by itself to increase transit supply but it could do a great deal to make the bus network much better. Exclusive bus only lanes and traffic light priority would straightforward to implement – but the noisy pro-car lobby would have to overridden.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 29, 2017 at 9:37 am

Posted in Transportation

CUTA Integrated Mobility Report

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I have decided that there is no way to make this work just with a retweet. So this blog post is addressed to mostly to readers who come to this blog because they are interested in how Canadian transit agencies should better adapt themselves to changing circumstances. Unlike CUTA’s approach to transit statistics, this report is not restricted in its distribution and it is free to download as a large pdf.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 11.30.34 AMIt is meant to be a resource for transit agencies wishing to advance their communities towards integrated mobility.

So if that is something you want to read, start at the CUTA report web page from which there is a download link.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

WPC second bite at “Windows”

with 6 comments

There was no reponse shown on the challenge page so I tweeted WordPress and they seem to have fixed the issue – but only posts that go up after the fix will show up there. So here are some more windows

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These are the windows installed on what was once a balcony in our suite. It is north-west facing, so only gets sunshine late in the day. But the view of the trees is one I often use – and sunsets – the mountains are slowly being hidden as the canopy of tree tops rises.

Here is the previous effort

Written by Stephen Rees

September 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

Posted in photography

Tagged with , , ,

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

with 4 comments

IMG_5033

This window is in the Pantheon in Paris. The building is a deconsecrated church, whose architecture is inspired by St Paul’s cathedral in London and has a magnificent dome. If you have a head for heights, you can access both the interior and exterior of the dome, and views from both are impressive. I took the picture as we started our way up the many stairs to the top. The view from this window was a bit of a disappointment, and it did not get used in my record of the trip on either WordPress or Flickr. But it does seem to fit rather neatly into this week’s challenge “To get more creative, use the glass in a window to add texture to your photo.” It seems to me that the panes of this window have not been cleaned for a while. If you like flying buttresses, or colonnades, this is a view of the building not usually seen.

pingback reset

Written by Stephen Rees

September 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

Posted in photography

Tagged with , , ,

“Watermelon” wants free transit

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Straight picture

There are a lot of nice photos of Mary Jean “Watermelon” Dunsdon and a nice old bus in the Straight. I replied under the article but decided I should post here too. Not that I need to write much more

“she’s traded in her bikini for a business licence”

Erm, I don’t think so. Wreck beach is not the sort of place where people wear bikinis, is it. And her famous Georgia Straight front cover picture doesn’t have her wearing a bikini either.

watermelon

As for free transit, we have been around this argument several times over the years

https://stephenrees.blog/…/a-case-for-free-transit-in…/

https://stephenrees.blog/2008/03/31/free-transit/

https://stephenrees.blog/2007/12/20/free-ride/

And just to show I’m not the only one who thinks this idea is far from “sensible”.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2007/07/30/FareFree6/

The way to get more people using transit is to increase service – and make what you do provide more reliable. That means more trains and buses – and put the buses is exclusive bus lanes. Put a camera in the front of every bus, and paint the bus lane red, then the operator just clicks the button every time the bus gets behind a vehicle that is not a bus. Use the ticket revenue from that to buy even more buses. But you cannot afford to give up 50% of current revenues if you want to increase service.

By the way the City has no power to make transit free – but there is a great deal it could do to give buses priority on Vancouver’s streets.

I think we would be better off with Pete Fry on council.

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Seven Sisters Road by “sarflondonunc” on flickr

Written by Stephen Rees

September 26, 2017 at 3:27 pm