Most candidates in Waterloo Region disapprove of regional LRT plan
Buses favoured by a wide margin, says survey by Taxpayers for Sensible Transit
Local grassroots organization Taxpayers for Sensible Transit (T4ST) today released the results of a comprehensive candidate survey ahead of the October 25 municipal election in Waterloo Region. The results show massive disapproval for the regional government’s controversial $819 million light rail transit plan.
T4ST, which favours improved bus service over the region’s light rail transit plan, sent out 168 email transit surveys. This covered all urban and rural mayoral and regional chair candidates plus candidates for city, regional and township councils. The overall response rate was 66 percent. Excluding township council candidates, the response rate was above 80 percent.
Asked whether they supported the region’s current plan, 95 percent of the responding candidates said no. Only one candidate supported the necessary tax hike of approximately 9 percent to pay for light rail.
“These results are crystal clear,” said Ruth Haworth, spokesperson for T4ST. “Voters in Waterloo Region do not want to pay for light rail transit. And the candidates have heard this message.”
According to the survey, 89 percent of the candidates do not support permanent traffic disruptions on King Street or other roads to facilitate a permanent rail line. And asked which form of transit was most appropriate for Waterloo Region, buses were the overwhelmingly popular response: 62 said the existing iXpress system should be improved, 30 wanted a new system of rapid buses and 21 candidates said light rail is the best form of transit for our region.
Haworth said this means regional staff should immediately stop work on light rail plans and begin examining improvements to existing bus service or rapid buses. “Over 80 percent of candidates want better bus service,” says Haworth. “Buses make sense for Waterloo Region. It’s time the region recognized this and switched gears on transit.”
Haworth added, “Our reply rate was very high and we have responses from all candidates in most urban races. This means residents can use our site as a voting aid no matter where they stand on this issue.”
The survey provided a comment section and received many interesting suggestions regarding ways to improve or alter the existing transit system in Waterloo Region.
The complete survey with all candidate responses is available at the group’s website: www.t4st.com.
For more information, contact
Taxpayers for Sensible Transit