The City of Vancouver unveiled an ambitious plan about a decade ago. The idea was to make the city completely powered by clean energy by 2050, not just electricity, but heating and transportation as well. As part of this, the city was looking to get to 50 percent when it came to sustainable modes of transportation, so walking, biking or public transportation, by 2020.
Well, as Vancouverites normally do, we have overachieved. We actually hit that goal last year, as half the trips taken in the city were estimated to be by foot, bike or bus/Skytrain rather than traditional car.
Here’s one thing the average Vancouverite might not know, is that we have a world-class transportation system. Forget the stories about us being incredibly congested, the stats are skewered because we are not a traditional city, we don’t have a highway cutting right through the middle, and to be honest, most people love this. Our Skytrain station has 53 stations and carries more than 100 million passengers a year. Our downtown core is full of dedicated bike lanes for progressive employees, which puts us far ahead of most of our North American counterparts, despite all the bad news you read in the newspaper about Translink.
We live in an age of individualism, where everybody seems to be looking out for themselves, however there’s always great examples of people putting the planet first, putting their money where their mouth is. Taking alternative transportation is a great way to send a clear message as a consumer that you’re down for alternatives, and ready to green the city, the country and the planet. Remember, every time you make a purchase or choose to invest in something, that is essentially voting on our current society. We only get to vote in elections once in a while, but every day you get to have your say with your wallet.