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

Louise Baxter found after 72 hour search

Cranbrook hiker had been missing since Sunday, August 12, near Jumbo Pass.

Nelson architecture firm to redesign Arrow Lakes Hospital

Cover Architecture Collaborative will work on the hospital’s emergency department

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Volunteers sought for weed pull at Summit Lake Provincial Park

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society is looking for help next week

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read