This blog post follows up on the campaign pledge announced in my recent video “The Car-Free Campaign.”
Transit, bicycling and walking are not only great ways to save the city money, but they’re great ways to save Edmontonians money – something I know from first hand experience. And so, as a car-free Edmontonian with no intention of changing should I be elected, I pledge to donate at least half of my vehicle allowance to charity. Councillors are allotted approximately $6,500 per year (or approx. $20,000 over a three year term based on current vehicle allowances).
More specifically, the money would go to the ETS Donate-a-Ride Program, as a symbol of my commitment to keeping transit as accessible as possible to all Edmontonians, and local charities and not-for-profit groups to help them in funding their transportation needs. These organizations and the clients they serve will benefit significantly more from the money than I would by keeping it and using it to purchase and maintain my own private car.
Transit fare increases were last set by council just before the 2007 election, and have resulted in Edmonton’s monthly passes soaring from $59 to $81.50, passing Montréal and Vancouver (one-zone) in the process. This pushes riders back into their cars or onto tickets rather than passes (restricting their mobility in the process). As increases to $89 for the monthly pass and $3.00 for cash fare are already scheduled before the 2013 election, I will oppose any additional net increase to the cost to board an ETS bus or train during the term and work to cancel that scheduled increase.