TransLink is encouraging Metro Vancouver drivers to ditch their vehicles this coming Earth Day “as part of a collective initiative to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn called on residents to reduce their carbon footprint on April 22 and to take transit during the announcement at Schnitzer Steel Industries in Surrey on Thursday (April 14).
“We know that public transportation is absolutely key to tackling the climate crisis and this is your chance to take action. Every person’s individual choice can really make a difference and make a change,” he said.
Bowinn Ma, the province’s minister of state for infrastructure, pointed out the relatively calm weather during the announcement, following hail and snowstorms earlier in the week.
“With all seriousness though with what we’ve been observing over the last few days and the month of April and what we’ve experienced here in British Columbia over the last several months in terms of extreme climate weather, what we know with certainty is that the climate emergency is here.”
Ma, who is an advocate of transit and active transportation, said if people are serious about driving down greenhouse gas emissions, “we must address how we move people and goods around our community.”
“Public transit is a safe, affordable, and reliable way to get around, and is an important part of our CleanBC climate action plan to lower emissions and support a cleaner, more vibrant British Columbia.”
And one way TransLink is pushing for more people to opt for transit over driving is its partnership with SCRAP-IT.
Started last fall, TransLink and SCRAP-IT offer a Compass Card rebate when drivers choose to scrap their used fossil-fuel vehicles. In exchange, customers can choose either an eight-month adult one-zone or a 14-month concession Compass Card, valued at $802.
Since the program started in October of 2021, TransLink says there have been 34 vehicle trade-ins.
One person who chose to trade in their vehicle is retiree and Lower Mainland resident Jim Greenwood.
Greenwood said he dropped off his 2005 Toyota Matrix in February. He’s now in his second month of using his Compass Card, adding he “never used transit before” except for taking the SkyTrain to hockey or football games downtown from Richmond “because of maybe a beer or two.”
Now he uses his pass to take his grandchildren out on adventures.
“They live in North Van, we take the 228 go down to Lonsdale Quay, take the SeaBus, go to waterfront. They always want to go in the front of the SkyTrain,” he explained.
“We’ll go down to Granville Island or maybe down to River Rock to take the double-decker bus all the way out to White Rock. Instead of having them in a carseat behind you, you get to sit with them, talk to them, learn about the whole city.”