EDITORIAL: Fueling our fear with higher gas prices

Higher gas prices are said to drive us to take public transit. Are we there yet?

We had our doubts, but it turns out our political masters were correct.

Now that they’ve raised the price of gas enough, our personal motor vehicles remain parked and our buses and rapid-transit routes are running at capacity.

A look out the window on any of our major commuter roadways should show this, right?

Turns out we may have spoken too soon. Even with the price of gas across Metro Vancouver hovering on either side of $1.60(!) a litre(!!), the majority of residents are still reliant on their automobiles, whether for commuting to and from work, shopping for necessities or just getting out and about while living their lives.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Over the years, when we’ve complained about the rising cost of fuel, we’ve been told by various theorists and officials that we are actually underpaying for this commodity. Not only were Metro Vancouver leaders willing to tax gasoline to subsidize transit users, it was actually suggested that arbitrarily increasing the cost would drive us from our personal vehicles and encourage us to to take mass transit, resulting ultimately in a greener planet.

While no one should argue against efforts to protect our environment and sustainability for all living creatures, it’s clear from the jam-packed roadways in so many pockets of our cities that the desired result is yet to come to fruition.

While buses on some routes may well be packed – resulting in a call for more frequent runs – drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can attest that this hasn’t translated to otherwise empty roadways.

Perhaps the problem is frequency of runs. Perhaps we can attribute it to the bus routes themselves and a dearth of rapid transit beyond SkyTrain’s terminus station. Everything seems synced to get Metro Vancouverites smoothly from their major exchanges to the downtown core and back during respective rush hours, yet they have far fewer options to simply get across town or to visit neighbouring suburbs.

However, while TransLink has made major inroads in many of these areas in recent years, most remain in their cars.

Whatever the problem is, if the solution really is that gas is just too darned cheap, one wonders how high the price has to go before our roadways are clear.

– Peace Arch News

 

Just Posted

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Woman who died hours before daughter’s wedding wanted her family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while floating on a surf board in Tofino

Ahousaht welcomes massive Surfrider Canada conference to Meares Island near Tofino

“It was the first time we’ve all come together.”

Ucluelet shakes up emergency services, removes manager, eyes new sirens

District has eliminated Emergency and Environmental Manager position

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

B.C. launches plan to tackle doctor shortage, emergency room congestion

John Horgan aims to set up regional primary care networks in a ‘team-based’ approach

Vancouver, Squamish pipeline challenges dismissed by court in B.C.

Justice Christopher Grauer ruled the province’s decision to issue the certificate was reasonable

Most Read