NDP Surrey-Cloverdale candidate Harry Kooner is using his time on a bike commuting to try to bring attention to what is rapidly becoming one of the biggest election issues for Surrey: a lack of transportation options for residents, particularly those living in Cloverdale.
Kooner, who works for the City of Surrey, often chooses to bike to work in order to avoid the gridlock that often emerges when driving the car as part of the morning commute.
“My car ride to City Hall should take about no more than 10 minutes, but the morning traffic is becoming unbearable,” says Kooner. “I am an avid cyclist, and so I am using my bike as a means to get to work without any hassles or delays.”
Bus service in Cloverdale is limited, infrequent, and unreliable, and the closest skytrain station is King George, which is entirely on the other side of Surrey. This kind of gap, however, is unacceptable in a community like Cloverdale, where families, seniors and young people are being given few other options but to own a vehicle.
It is estimated that the City of Surrey will increase to 750,000 people by 2041, and will surpass Vancouver as British Columbia’s largest city within a decade. To continue to encourage growth in our community, while ensuring that that growth is sustainable and based on increasing density, we must give residents more options to get around.
The BC NDP will invest in transportation options by extending the carbon tax to industries like Liquid Natural Gas. These new revenues will be invested directly into increasing transit options. Furthermore, the unaccountable Translink board will now be opened up to elected municipal officials who have a mandate from the people, not their political master in Victoria.
With the emergence of groups like the Light Rail Links, which is advocating for light rail to connect areas south of the Fraser, Kooner believes that a change in government will mean new partners willing to work closely with communities to improve public transportation.
“For the sake of the economy, the environment and rapid population growth, we can no longer ignore the transportation needs of Cloverdale,” added Kooner. “A BC NDP government will invest immediately into public transit, making our province’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases contribute to the expansion of transit options.”