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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Nuxalk College undertakes language digitization project

New tapes from over 50 years ago are set to be digitally transcribed

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Bella Coola under another winter storm warning

Freezing rain is expected by this afternoon

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky Nimpkish ferry sailing

The ferry docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Heiltsuk Nation calls probe into arrest of Indigenous man at bank ‘woefully inadequate’

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver on Dec. 20

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Manitoba RCMP spent less than $800K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Theo the 800-pound pig trimmed down and still looking for love on Vancouver Island

“He’s doing really well, lost quite a few pounds and can run now.”

Horgan unveils B.C. cabinet shuffle changes

Premier John Horgan has made three major changes to his cabinet

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Most Read