BURNABY — Citing higher fuel prices and cost of living, increasing traffic and commuting challenges, as well as concerns about climate change, two locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees representing transit workers in the Lower Mainland and Capital Region have launched a new campaign urging more members of the public to “Try Transit!”
“Metro Vancouver and Victoria have excellent infrastructure for public transit, and systems everyone can use—we just need more people to use them,” said CUPE 7000 President Tony Rebelo, who represents 950 members working for SkyTrain.
“We need more people who are familiar with transit but stopped using it to come back, and we need people who’ve never considered transit as an option to take another look at what we have to offer. The system is safe, accessible, and welcome to everyone.”
Although ridership numbers have increased with the gradual easing of COVID-related restrictions—TransLink is now at 73 per cent of pre-pandemic levels—a truly sustainable transit system operates with much higher passenger volumes, said the two CUPE local presidents.
“Our public transit system is a more affordable option than driving, especially for students, seniors, people with mobility issues and those on low or fixed incomes,” said CUPE 4500 President Chris Gindhu, who represents 194 members working for the Coast Mountain Bus Company in the Lower Mainland and 29 BC Transit workers in the Capital Regional District.
“Encouraging more people to use transit is also good for the environment because it eases congestion in our roadways and reduces the impact of climate change. So, if you want to save money and reduce your commute while making a difference for the environment, try transit!” The campaign began with transit shelter ads in the Victoria area and continues next week with billboards in the Lower Mainland. For more information, visit: trytransit.ca