“Yes” vote only a step toward solutions to family transit poverty – Living Wage for Families

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Deana Ogle, Living Wage for Families campaign organizer, published an article in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight where she argues improved public transit can be a significant piece of improving the lives of families struggling to survive in British Columbia. In the article, Ogle explains the situation many families in BC have to face every day:

“Increasingly, families are being pushed into less transit-accessible areas in order to find cheaper housing. For many families this means long walks to the bus stop and increased social isolation.”

BC is currently running a referendum on whether the public would approve of a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan. The Plan would see improvements such as adding bus service and new B-Line rapid bus routes, increased service on SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus, and West Coast Express, building a new Pattullo Bridge and a new rapid transit line along Broadway in Vancouver, among other projects.

While the referendum points at positive and much-needed improvements, Ogle points out that:

“We can also look to positive models that have attempted to address transit poverty. Seattle recently adopted an expanded low-fare transit program that offers reduced fares for individuals and families who are below an income threshold of $47,700 for a family of four, or families earning less than $13.10 per hour if both parents are working full time, full year. This system is explicitly directed at reducing income inequality.”

You can read the full article here