Further to the letter to the editor from Lutz Haack, for the past seven months since the COVID-19 lockdown began I have watched in my neighbourhood a constant procession of mostly empty buses running up and down 152 Street in South Surrey-White Rock. It is likely the same throughout the Lower Mainland.
I can understand the need for buses running at frequent intervals in the morning and at dinner time for commuters and students. However, it is a great waste of taxpayer resources, to say nothing of fuel and labour costs, as well as the spewing of harmful pollutants into the atmosphere, and makes little sense to having them continue to run so frequently at other times.
By my estimation, a bus runs on 152 Street, on average, about every 10 minutes on one of the various routes. And at off-peak times they seldom have more than two or three passengers and are often completely empty.
And now we have double-decker buses on some of the routes here, again mostly empty other than at peak times.
As taxpayers, we are subsidizing TransLink through transit levies such as on our property taxes, at the pump for fuel purchases, and utilities. It is noted that the transit operators have had full employment during this period.
Is it fair for taxpayers to be subsidizing these drivers when there are so many others whose incomes have been reduced and in some cases have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced during these unprecedented times?
Reducing immediately the frequency of buses running in non-peak times would be a prudent move by TransLink for the benefit of all taxpayers in Metro Vancouver.
Don Campbell, South Surrey