Sunday, October 03, 2010

HOW I’M GOING TO VOTE IN THE MUNICIPAL ELECTION

I’ve decided to try Internet Voting just to see how it works.

To do this I needed to register (to internet vote) and it needs to be done from September 27th – October 11th

It took me about three minutes to get registered. The key thing I needed was my Voter Information Notice that includes a 13-digit EID number that I had to enter along with a number of simple questions.

I now have to wait until the Clerk approves me. And I’m a little worried. Perhaps the Clerk is screening this blog before giving approval. We were told at an information session that it would take 24 hours or more for the approval and I’ve been waiting for 3 ½ days. And while I’m eager to vote I can’t actually do it until October 5th. The voting period then lasts until October 13th. I didn’t understand this at first (Shouldn’t it go right up to election day? ) but the idea is that if someone tried to vote by Internet and for some reason was not able to make it work they would still have a chance on election day (October 25th).

So while I wait for the opening of the internet voting I’ve got some time to contemplate who I’ll vote for.

A lot of what is going into my decision has to do with this City’s traditionally poor support for public transit.

Good transit is a must for a good city. There are the environmental reasons for using transit as an option to gas spewing single occupant vehicles, of course. Then there is the equity issue. It just seems to me a given that all citizens should be able to get around the town where they live and use its services and amenities. For those who choose not to have a car, can’t afford one, or maybe have health issues meaning they can’t drive good public transit is a must.

In Burlington support for public transit has been crummy relative to other similar communities.

A survey of eight peer transit properties done in 2008 showed Burlington
way behind. We were last in number of revenue passengers; last in passengers per capita; and at the bottom in the revenue per cost ratio.

But our fares were the highest. The number of revenue hours of service per capita was 8th of 9 and the amount the local taxpayer was spending on a per capita basis was the second lowest of the nine cities studies.

My point: Council is not giving the support to the service they should.

I’ve attended numerous meetings on public transit matters over the years and can tell you that Burlington council just doesn’t get it.

My next posts will elaborate.

1 comment:

james said...

Good post Bob,
I think the answer is both Macro & Micro. Giving BT the funds so the experience of the Transit rider is pleasant & efficient is critical. A little money for innovation would also be nice, like being able to wait for a bus from the comfort of a Tims or weekend buses that have trailers for bikes that will take people (& their bikes) from the south of the city to Rattle Snake Point are two examples.

The second part is land use planning that encourages transit ridership. One simple idea is to require all developments to be multi-use, so even if another BIG BOX retail development is approved it should contain office AND residential, heck light industry could work the same way.

Using a holistic approach to transit would make it seem a much more natural part of our city.