By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April. 20, 2012.
A corridor gas tax for transit. Enhanced council support for the Ride Share program. Integrating transit systems across the region, even the province. Fostering a continued dialogue about the needs for better transit systems.
These were just some of the suggestions various transit stakeholders floated at the Compute the Commute event on Sat, April 14.
Organised by the Sea to Sky Clean Air Society, the event brought representatives from Trans Link, BC Transit, Jack-Bell Ride-Share, and transport consultant from the proposed South Britania development.
Daryl Novak, the project manager of Ride Share, said there are currently nine vehicles plying commuters from Squamish to Vancouver.
Ride Share has about 100 vehicles in their fleet across the Lower Mainland, and it’s expanding.
Novak said the company also helps commuters connect with each other for ride share in their private vehicles.
“We have a database that allows people to register with us, which helps them connect with other commuters,” he said.
Novak said Ride Share is a non-profit society that operates on a cost recovery basis.
“We need funding, we need community support, and we need community champions to market us,” he said.
Councillor Susan Chapelle agrees.
Chapelle stayed for the whole meeting, while Coun. Ted Prior paid a brief visit, but no other councillor was present. Ride Share is an affordable, environmentally friendly way of commuting, and the council should support such endeavours, she said.
Chapelle said the district is hiring a transportation coordinator, but it also needs to give more money for programs like Ride Share.
Peter Joyce, the transportation planner for the housing development at South Britania, said developers should actively integrate transportation in their plans.
“We want to be part of the solution,” he said.
“We want to create transit stops and bicycle routes. We want to support and pioneer ride shares, we want to integrate bicycle and pedestrian routes.”
Such ambitious plans and hopes for a better regional transit were also outlined by Matt Craig, the senior transportation planner for Trans Link.
He said Trans Link would finish the evaluation of its transit systems by May.
Craig said Trans Link is aware of the “strong interest” that Squamish residents have shown in extending the service to Squamish, Furry Creek, and Britania Beach.
“At this point, it’s more of a question of when it will happen,” he said.
SLRD director Maurice Freitag said regional transit systems need to be integrated. He also pressed the need for a central hub where people can get information on commuting.
Transit advocate Murray Gamble said there is a need to promote a transit culture in Squamish.