Transit Riders Challenge Edmonton City Councillors To Take The Bus

<p>The Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton has challenged city councilors in Edmonton, Alberta to give up their private vehicles. Four councilors will rely exclusively on public transit for the next week.</p>
November 20, 2007, 5am PST | Nate Berg
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"A group of transit users is challenging Edmonton councilors to give up their cars for a week and ride the bus or LRT so they can see for themselves why the city system needs more funding.

Four of the city's 12 councilors have accepted the challenge.

"They'll see that the things they need in transit are also the things transit riders need," said Brian Gould, a member of the new lobby group called the Transit Riders' Union of Edmonton.

"Everyone needs to be able to make short-notice, cross-city and late-night trips, and the system doesn't generally provide that ability."

To fully meet the test's requirements, councilors will have to get to work and run all errands, such as buying groceries, using only transit. They will not be allowed to depend on others with cars.

Councilor Amarjeet Sohi, a former bus driver, said Edmonton's transit system has room to improve.

"It is mediocre at best. It's not a preferred mode of transportation at this time and this council does have the courage and the commitment to make sure that our transit system becomes a preferred mode of transportation."

Gould said he hopes the experience will convince council to put more money into the transit system to improve weekend and late-night service."

Thanks to Brian Gould

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Published on Monday, November 19, 2007 in CBC News
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