Dear Mayor Corrigan,
I’m writing you regarding the upcoming transit referendum. I appreciate your reasons for opposing the plan., and While it’s certainly far from perfect, I consider it to be perhapsa once-in-a-generation chance to modernize the transportation infrastructure of our city. I’ve been a Burnaby resident since I was 4 years old. and attended elementary school and high school here. At the time I didn’t realize how lucky I was with my transit options. We didn’t own a car but There was a bus stop right outside my door and the Skytrain took me right to my friends’ houses, malls, movie theatres, and sports complexes. that I attended. Historically, Burnaby has been extremely fortunate in securing transit funding and infrastructure. Over one third (11 out of 32) of Expo and MilleniumMillennium Line stations are in Burnaby even though we only have 10% one tenth of the Metro Vancouver population. Buses cross the entire city and we’re seeing great new investment and developments picking up around existing transit hubs such as Lougheed and Brentwood.
My perception of how amazing our amazing transit system was changed ~~ however,~~ in 2011, when I graduated from high school in 2011 and started attending UBC while still living in Burnaby. Suddenly I was looking at a 75 minute trip each way. This included, on average, a 15 minute lineup for athe 99 B-Line and thea subsequent 40 minute standing-room-only bus ride. For five years I spent two and a half hours on transit each day. For the first time in my life, I resented the fact that I lived in Burnaby and desperately wished I had the financial means to move on campus. I was probably sleep deprived for that entire 5 years; and there were days when I would skip classes all together because I had important deadlines and I couldn’t afford to spend that much time on a bus. I had a part time job at Metrotown but my hours were limited because it took me so long to get there after school. blah blah
I work downtown now and again op works now and again, i am now bored trying to edit this letter with reddit markdown benefit from a direct and speedy Skytrain route, but I’m keenly aware that thousands of people in this city aren’t so lucky. Because Burnaby has been so fortunate with Skytrain expansion in the past, it’s natural that most of the larger projects in the new plan don’t involve Burnaby directly. But our citizens travel to all parts of the lower mainland, be it to the beach, airport, college, university or their place of work. Making these places more accessible makes Burnaby a better place to live. We were lucky to have the Expo Line built right through our city in the 80’s and again to get the Millennium Line through north Burnaby in 2002. Now it’s time to put other regions in Metro Vancouver on par – and I’m sure that locally we’ll enjoy the extra bus service hours too!
If we let this chance pass waiting for the “perfect plan” we might not get another one this generation. I don’t want my children and grandchildren to spend 12 hours a week on a bus if they attend UBC or to have trouble getting around without a car. More than that, I want them to continue breathing the clean air that I’ve enjoyed and to be as proud of their city as I am, wherever they choose to live, go to school and work. Just like the generations before me invested in my future, I want to invest in theirs.
The residents of Burnaby look up to you and respect the stances you’ve taken, especially recently over the Kinder Morgan pipeline. You’re a role model to the city, and I really hope you will add your voice to the other mayors in support of this much needed investment in our city’s transportation.
With respect and many thanks,