It’s been a long time since my last post, but recent transportation news is too big to ignore. Both the major political parties have announced their stances on tolls.
On the same day the Liberals announced they would cap tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges at $500 a year starting Jan. 1, 2018 — a move that could cut a motorist’s driving costs by up to $1,000 a year — NDP leader John Horgan stole the Liberals’ thunder by promising to get rid of tolls for both bridges altogether if elected.
Okay, let’s start by looking at some of the numbers being bandied about in the news.
First off. There’s the one constant in this picture. Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals have promised to pay for 50% of the funds for infrastructure projects across the country.
Here’s what the other two levels of government have offered.
Could these little trailed-hitched homes work in a city like Vancouver?
credit: Vancouver Sun
We started the last day of our Rocky Mountain Bus Tour at an early, early hour. Was it 6am? Something like that. We didn’t go back to the WK Garden for a 3rd meal. Thank goodness. That would have really done me in. Instead, we headed down the Trans-Canada Highway to Sicamous about an hour away. We pulled into the Husky gas station. Western breakfast? Sort of…
Breakfast at the Husky in Sicamous
After a long day of checkout problems in the morning, lunch in Lake Louise, and an afternoon pit stop with a pig, we arrived in the evening in Revelstoke. Dinner was back at the WK Garden again. It seemed slightly better than the other morning we had the food. Maybe because it was more suited for evening dining.
We were back in Revelstoke with a good deal of time left in the evening. So were left to our own devices to explore what we could of Revelstoke.
Bike shop in downtown Revelstoke
After a pleasant time at Lake Louise, we were corralled back onto the bus. We were heading back into B.C. I thought we’d be making a stop in Golden, like we did on the way into Alberta. However, we just kept on driving. So I wondered where our first highway pit stop of the afternoon would be. We pulled over inside Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass. And that’s where we met a cute little four-legged friend in the parking lot. It was a pig on a road trip.
Met a pig at Rogers Pass
Day 2 started early in the morning. What was it? A 6am morning call?! We dragged ourselves out of bed and cleaned up. We lurched onto our tour bus to our newly assigned seats for the day. Everyone got a chance to sit near the front of the bus, basically.
Revelstoke mountain morning
This morning, we were heading off to breakfast. I was really hoping that we’d be having breakfast at the Sandman Inn. I was really hoping for eggs, sausage, and maybe some awesome hotel waffles. No luck this morning. This morning, we were carted off to Downtown Revelstoke for (you guessed it again) Chinese breakfast.
We arrived in the tiny town of Sicamous just before 6pm. Sicamous is most famous as the houseboat capital of BC. What’s houseboating? It is exactly what it sounds.
photo from Waterway Houseboats
It’s a giant two storey boat that can accommodate 10-24 people, depending on the model. It’s a popular summer activitiy in Sicamous, which sits on the giant Shuswap Lake. Folks rent these boats for days or a week and just take it around Shuswap Lake and sleep on them. It’s essentially an RV on water.
However, we weren’t in Sicamous for houseboating. Houseboating season hadn’t even started yet. We were here for (that’s right) Chinese dinner.
After a few hours of travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway from Surrey to Hope and then the snowy Coquihalla Highway from Hope, we arrived in the town of Merritt. Nestled in the Nicola Valley, Merritt is in the centre of the semi-arid valley that is home to some farmland and ranches. Merritt, to me, is best known for the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. That’s the largest country music festival in BC.
Along the Coquihalla Highway between the summit and Merritt
Well that’s not why we stopped here on our highway tour, we stopped here for lunch. And because we were on a Chinese-language tour, we were stopping for Chinese food.
a black MKII SkyTrain at Nanaimo Station
Oh has my social media ever lit up with transit referendum news. Here’s the upcoming referendum question coming to your mailbox in 2015.
Do you support a one half percentage point (0.5%) increase to the Provincial Sales Tax in Metro Vancouver, dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan, with independent audits and public reporting?
And here are the projects slated to be covered by the 0.5% regional sales tax increase:
The transportation referendum will give Metro Vancouver residents the opportunity to vote on a potential funding source(s) for proposed new transportation investments to manage congestion, support 1 million more people living here and keep everyone moving, including:
- better service on existing SkyTrain and bus routes
- new LRT and SkyTrain lines in Surrey and Vancouver
- new rapid bus routes throughout the region
- replacement of the Pattullo Bridge
- more frequent SeaBus and West Coast Express, and
- safer pedestrian and cycling routes
More details about the projects are on Mayor’s Council website.