Opinion

Universal bus passes would reduce gases

I would like to see TransLink adopt a universal bus pass program for the citizens of Metro Vancouver. This would be on a trial basis and continue until at least until after 2010.

I feel it would be a step in the right direction to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging people not to drive.

It would also reduce gridlock on the streets and help prepare Vancouver for the influx of athletes, media and visitors for the Winter Olympics with a more modern and improved urban transit system.

There would be a need to increase investment in public transit as more people would find it more economical to take the bus or SkyTrain. I feel TransLink can generate revenue from two sources.

First, TransLink could charge a nominal fee for the annual bus passes. Currently, the provincial government charges $45 for an annual bus pass for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities.This is reasonable.

Everyone should pay the same price regardless of where they live in Metro Vancouver. In fact, the more people travel by public transit, the better! Cutting down on the daily long commute by automobile is a huge benefit to the environment, congestion and related traffic accidents.

Second, there should be a Green Gas Tax which would generate funds for public transit. In this way, fuel-efficient cars pay less tax and SUVs and gaz guzzlers pay more tax. Vehicles that pollute the environment should pay more taxes.

Apparently, our gas taxes are nothing compared to the UK and Europe. A minor Green Gas Tax would be negligible.

The tax would also create an incentive for the SUV owners to purchase fuel-efficient cars or take public transit.

If the politicians really cared about the environment and weren’t so addicted to their automobiles they could make a universal bus pass for the citizens of Metro Vancouver a reality.

Amar Sangha

North Delta

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