Tax hike? F*ck no. That is pretty much the central intellectual argument put forth by Jordan Bateman, and his loyal penny-pinching minion’s at the right wing think tank the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. They cloak their general aversion to taxation of any kind, by focusing their campaign of anger on Translink and its perceived, and in some cases, real, inadequacies. What Bateman fails to relay is that Translink is not the ballot question. Transportation expansion, congestion reduction, and whether or not to fund these goals, is. Here are seven reasons why voting yes will be in your best interest.
1. 80% more night bus service
Anyone from the burbs who’s partied downtown on the weekends and missed the last Skytrain knows the night bus service is infrequent, cramped, and in desperate need of expansion. By voting, yes, you’re also endorsing a plan by the mayor’s council to increase services by 80%.
2. More cycling paths
For all the cycling enthusiasts, if the Yes side wins get stoked for 2700km of new bikeway trails in the Metro-Vancouver region.
3. Reducing congestion for drivers
You don’t need to take public transit to feel the benefits of increased transportation options. Increased transportation options don’t merely take people out of cars but will also relieve congestion in Metro-Vancouver by 20%.
4. Surrey Light Rail Line
A yes vote will help ensure Surrey will receive a light rail service that will extend all the way to Langley.
5. A Broadway Subway Line
Voting yes will green light a tunnelled sky-train line down the Broadway corridor in Vancouver.
6. New Pattullo Bridge
The Pattullo Bridge is rapidly deteriorating and frightening to drive on. If the transit referendum succeeds, a new bridge can begin construction.
7. The reality of voting no will be much scarier than a slight increase of 0.5% in the sales tax
Without necessary funding after taxpayers in Washington State rejected a similar regional proposal, their transit provider was forced to cut up to 25% of services on individual routes.