KSA campaigns for better Kwantlen transit options

Kwantlen pushes for more rapid transit through Get On Board.

Kwantlen pushes for more rapid transit through Get On Board.

By Chloe Smith
[associate news editor]

If the over 1,500 students who voted in favour of keeping the U-Pass are any indication, transit is a priority at Kwantlen.

The Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) has partnered with other Metro Vancouver student associations and the Get On Board campaign. On Feb. 27 KSA representatives, including Arzo Ansay, Richard Hosein and Jamie Cellier, joined supporters of the campaign for a rally organised by the Surrey Citizens Transportation Initiative. The campaign focuses on lobbying the provincial government and TransLink for more accessible and sustainable projects.

The KSA has allocated roughly $5,000 into promoting the campaign at Kwantlen, focusing on a push for more rapid transit, in Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley. In a Runner interview, Arzo Ansary, the KSA’s director of external affairs outlined her goals for the campaign.

“[We have] definitely three objectives which is definitely more public transit, more infrastructure, and the third aspect of that is the Surrey light rail,” she said.

The Get On Board campaign organizers hope that they can pressure the government into making transit in Metro Vancouver more efficient.

“Translink is funded right now . . . between revenue from fares and gas taxes,” said Tanner Bokor, external affairs director for the student association at UBC.

“The problem with gas taxes being if they work you don’t have as much revenue. What we’re looking at for solutions are road pricing, reallocation of taxes – such as the carbon tax, gas tax increases, property tax – and we’ve also been talking about ways we can monetise more on existing infrastructure within TransLink;  ways that can raise revenue without having to raise fares all across the board.”

Ansary is aware of student concerns and is optimistic about the campaign’s ability to address the problems of insufficient transit in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley. “What I’m really hoping for is that the majority of the [campaign’s] benefit would come to areas like Cloverdale and Langley- which are severely lacking in transit abilities.”