I recently tweeted my frustration about the human cooker to which Translink is charging entrance fees.
Here is my personal story:
The hybrid buses I recently experienced (diesel and electric) are a great addition to the fleet, and a more energy efficient way to climb the Burnaby Mountain to the SFU University Community and UniverCity.
The “hybrid” sticker on the bus exterior gave me fodder to approach the bus driver for a little conversation.
There I learned that Coast Mountain had removed the air conditioning on the newly purchased fleet.
In vancouver we have at least one month of twelve in the 20 to 25 degree range. In a city with trees largely removed from bus routes this means scorching direct heat, magnifying in South facing seats.
Option 1: Take a car – Open all your windows for fresh breeze directly, or
Option 2: take a bus and be stuffed into a moving closet with no air conditioning. the price is equivelent when you take in insurance, parking and gas.
I can only think Translink has chosen to cut corners for budget reasons.
Though, if we ignore basic comforts of public ridership we short-change our opportunity for a world-class public transit.
My benchmark (or transit seat) comes out of my experience in Europe:
Public transit in Denmark welcomes international visitors at the airport with clean, beautiful and efficient services. These trains and tracks! (though not perfect last time I was in Denmark because of problems of scheduling) are new in the last 5 years. The system of buses, water taxis, and trains take you anywhere you could think of travelling on the island of Shetland. At the shoreline, the systems link of smoothly with local and international ferries. I am going to stop myself from pining for the transportation systems of European countries. However the Danish systems remains a reminder of system that cater to an inclusive and complete picture of “public”.
A vibrant public transit system can provide affordable transportation as well as a viable alternative to the car.
After years and years of riding the transit in Vancouver, I’m bewildered how service is going down rather than improving. I’ve been riding the bus since the 1970’s
If you want to create sustainable infrastructure… turn to buses, trains and subway!
Removing air conditioning from our buses is not thinking of transit possibility. In the current heats of 25 degrees (including the public throng en route to the PNE) I had to wonder?
Subjugating the public to the overheated, human smorgasbord takes a little twist? In ways the ride is closer to a novelty than a logical choice.
“Dear planners please sit down and think about this.” May I suggest a seat on the bus or skytrain? Perhaps some cooling air will allow you to think better…?
I see more cars, driving faster, on the wider Number 1 highway. ( How do we attract the car driver into alternative modes of travel, that are less energy consuming and produce fewer C02 gases?)
Let us promote a public transportation system operating to its highest and best.
This is my opinion and experience and not particularly that of UNES. I hope that it can inspire you to think of the possibilities of transit.