Monday, January 14, 2008

Thoughts on the new transit plan

The BC government has announced a new Provincial Transit Plan.

Finally something that addresses transportation, one of the biggest contributors to ghg emissions in BC. But is it enough?

It appears the first of the new projects announced won't be finished until 2014. This is after the Gateway Program highway expansion. This indicates to me that highway expansion is still the priority, not mass transit.

The goal of the plan is to increase ridership by 1-5% (depending upon the region) by 2020. This doesn't seem to be enough to meet the 33% ghg reduction that the province has set for 2020.

The plan has a goal of reducing ghg emissions by 4.7 millions tonnes "cumulatively" by 2020. I assume by "cumulatively" they mean over the course of the 6 years that the plan is rolled out. This number seems high given the 1-5% ridership change but if we assume it is correct that works out to about 0.78 million per year.

However, our current annual ghg emissions from light duty vehicles in BC are over 11.1 tonnes. That means that this plan will only reduce emissions by 7 % ! Not even close to the government's target of 33%.

Update: It turns out that 4.7 million tonnes figure is actually spread out over 12 years so the plan is even worse than I thought. It will reduce by less than 4% the emissions from light vehicles in BC.

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