Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Transit Fare Review

BC Transit is doing a review of the fares for the Victoria Regional Transit and has decided to consult with the public after creating four options as opposed to getting public input before creating the options.

One of the problems with BC Transit in this region is that they tend to come to the public with complete ideas fait a compli and not really look for new ideas from the public.   As a public engagement process, this is less than ideal.

A good public engagement process involves the public early on in the process and keeps the public well informed during the process and how the input was used.

From the International Association of for Public Participation:

Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation

  • Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.
  • Public participation includes the promise that the public's contribution will influence the decision. 
  • Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers. 
  • Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision. 
  • Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate. 
  • Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way. 
  • Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.

I read through these values and I do not see how they are applied in the current Fare Review.

  • There is nothing on the buses to indicate this is happening.  You would think the people that would be effected would be keep in the loop.
  • There have been no updates in over five weeks
  • There are no public meetings
  • The online survey is not well structured and will effectively be a popularity contest within very tight confines
  • BC Transit is not giving the public any idea what the scope of input they are looking for in the process
  • There has been no scope for input by the public to suggest options.  All the options include fare increases and property tax increases.  In the case of the property tax increase, it is projected to be about three times the rate of inflation.
  • I get no sense there will be a process in which the public will be able to see how their input was used
  • The timeframe between the end of fare review and the decision by the commission is very short, the final date for input is Friday November 9th with the commission to make a decision on Tuesday December 4th.   This is a very short timeframe to collate and analyse the input if there is meaningful public participation. 

This reminds me of their process looking at Local Funding Options for the LRT - the process and report did little or nothing to engage the public and then did not reflect back the input they received.

Commission Report Tariff Strategy

Three year service and financial strategy presentation

September 11, 2012 Victoria Regional Transit Financial and Performance Review

CD 2011 Origin-Destination Household Travel Survey

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