If you’re one of the million people that use transit on a weekly basis, you already know that it’s bursting at the seams. Routes like the 323, R1, and 49 are now notoriously overcrowded, and due to traffic, they’re getting slower each year. As our region grows, we need to make sure the transportation system keeps up with that growth. “Movement: Metro Vancouver Transit Riders” is a new group focused on elevating the voices of riders to push for better transit.

The people that use transit might have a variety of reasons for doing so. Perhaps, they are no longer able to drive, or perhaps they can not afford the rising cost of a car. Perhaps they’re concerned about the impact of droughts, floods, and heatwaves on farmers.

Whatever reason, public transit has historically been a low priority to elected officials. Movement believes that if transit users speak up, they can demonstrate that there’s lots of public support for better transit, even among car owners.

Movement was started by Denis Agar, an urban planner who previously worked at TransLink for 10 years. His role at the agency was to encourage cities to install bus lanes that would make buses faster and more reliable. He found that cities were very concerned about complaints from motorists, whereas they received almost no feedback from transit users. As a result, there are far fewer bus lanes here than in other cities like Seattle or San Francisco. If transit riders demonstrate huge support for these lanes, Movement believes we can help cities overcome their fear of bus lanes.

When buses become faster, they become cheaper to operate. Bus lanes actually save money, which can be reinvested to increase capacity and reduce overcrowding.

Movement will be connecting with bus riders at the bus stop, at the community centre, and at the gurdwara. Please reach out to us if you’d like us to come to your location, or if you’d like to volunteer. We can be reached at [email protected], or on Whatsapp at 778-776-8806. To stay informed on Movement’s activities, please join our mailing list at http://newsletter.transitmovement.ca.

Logo by Jag Nagra
Long queue at bus stop on route 49
Movement volunteers talking to riders on Hastings St in Burnaby