Approve Affordable Public Transit for Cochrane, Alberta
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Cochrane is no longer the small prairie town it once was; we are growing fast and we are ready for public transit!
According to moneysense.ca, Cochrane was the 5th fastest growing community in Canada in 2017, and we are quickly approaching 30,000 residents. Due to our growth, unique geography, widespread communities, and the railway/river, getting around Cochrane can be tiresome, frustrating and at times, not even an option for those without cars. Public transit will help ease these growing pains!
What are the benefits?
- It's proven: public transportation reduces traffic congestion, reduces household spending on transportation, and increases community connectedness.
- Those who have lost the ability to drive (permanently or temporarily) will be able to continue life as normal, without having to burden family and friends;
- Youth won't need to rely on parents or friends for access to the community, sports, part time jobs or extracurricular activities;
- Households will not be required to purchase, insure, maintain, and fuel a second vehicle to accomodate family life;
- Seniors will be able to maintain their independence and stay involved in their community, regardless of where they choose to live in Cochrane;
- Single car families will have affordable options to get to important appointments, classes and jobs when the the family vehicle is in use.
- Restricted-mobility residents will have freedom of movement, enabling them to live and work wherever they want; (the proposed buses are accessible)
- Everyone will benefit from reducing the impact Cochrane traffic has on the environment; and
- With less cars on the road, drivers and transit riders alike will enjoy quicker commute times.
Our entire community will benefit from accessible public transportation!
What will it cost?
Research the Town has completed indicates a tax increase of approximately $60 per household, per year.
Each one-way trip on transit will be approximately $2.50, or a monthly pass cost of approximately $40 (Youth), $50 (Senior), or $60 (Adult).
How many people will have to use transit to meet the estimates above?
Approximately 250 monthly passes sold or 215 riders per day (5 days a week, 2 trips per day) will keep the tax increase within the $60 per year. (This should be easily doable as many communities see much higher usage than this.)
This means less than 1% of our population needs to buy a monthly pass or ride the bus to and from work each day to meet the estimated operating budget! But it also means the service is available for all!
What happens if it fails?
The Town will invest approximately $6.6 million over 5 years. The province will contribute an additional $6 million. At the end of 5 years, the Town can continue or suspend the service. The Town will own land, buildings, and buses that exceed their investment value and can recoup these costs (by selling land, buildings, and buses) or re-purpose the assets. In the worst case scenario, the Town -and taxpayers- break even.
Let's connect our Cochrane community and make it better for all residents! Encourage your councillors to vote yes FOR affordable, inclusive public transit.
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