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Reminder: Get your feedback in at BePartofthePlan!

Reminder: Get your feedback in at BePartofthePlan!

Just want to keep reminding you to go over to BePartofthePlan.ca and give us your thoughts on the 10-Year Plan options we’re presenting.

The consultation period closes on June 30, so you have 22 days to get your thoughts in as of today.

There’s two key ways to give us your feedback:

  • First, play It’s Your Move, our consultation exercise/game. Pick transport priorities for the region, choose your preferred existing funding options, and rank the future funding options we should pursue!
  • Then, if you want to talk more, visit our consultation discussion boards. Answer the “sticky” questions I’ve posted in each forum, and feel free to post your own discussion topics too.

Some perspective: transit funding challenges in other places


View United States of Transit Cutbacks in a larger map

I came across this map a while back and thought it would be interesting to share.

It shows proposed transit cuts in 94 American communities, put together by the Transportation for America advocacy group from media reports and online coverage.

Here’s the legend:

  • Yellow = Service Cuts
  • Green = Fare Increases
  • Purple = Service Cuts and Fare Increases
  • Red = Service Cuts and Job Losses
  • Turquoise = Fare Increases and Job Losses
  • $$ = Service Cuts, Job Losses, and Fare Increases.

(Transportation for America also has more data from this map in its transit cuts section.)

Now, the analogy between TransLink and these American communities is by no means perfect. We have a unique structure with many dedicated revenue sources that other communities do not enjoy, and our transportation mandate and spending histories are different from many agencies.

But it’s still worthwhile to point out that many agencies are struggling with the cost of funding their services even as ridership increases, and are grasping at funding mechanisms like fare increases to meet their costs. (Mass Transit magazine has a good article explaining the transit funding “paradox.”)

It also shows that to keep systems running, transit agencies are often forced to make service cuts, much like the drastic cuts TransLink will be forced to make if we have no new funding. (We do have scenarios for mid-level investment and maximal investment too, never fear!)

Closer to home, an article in the Toronto Star today discusses the funding challenges facing Metrolinx, the regional transportation agency in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Which is all to say that these transportation funding challenges that face TransLink and our region today are challenges present elsewhere too. The cost of transportation is high. And we need you to weigh in at BePartofthePlan.ca so you can have a say in how much we invest in our transportation future, how we should pay for it, and what that transportation future should look like.

Okay, serious talk over! More Buzzer blog fun stuff soon :)