Brad West Archives


Brad West is a councillor in the city of Port Coquitlam, BC and he recently participated in's first car free challenge

As I sat down to write about my car free week observations, I couldn’t help but think that, in many ways, I could title this report: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

When our public transit system works, it can work very well. Direct routes and quick transfers make for an efficient way to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, when our transit system doesn’t work, it can get ugly. And the further you are from Vancouver, the uglier it gets.

For the most part, once I was able to reach a Skytrain station, it was relatively smooth sailing. Therein lies the rub. For transit users in places like Port Coquitlam and the Tri-Cities, getting to a Skytrain station is a challenge. Let me explain:

One day during the week, my fiancée and I ventured to Metrotown by transit. I’ll admit that she has considerable more transit experience then me, but as part of our experiment, we followed the exact route prescribed by Tranlink’s online trip planner. We marked our watches and started from Dominion Ave in north Port Coquitlam. Our trip included 3 bus transfers and a Skytrain ride, with a fair amount of walking to reach a bus stop to begin with. In the end, we clocked in at just less than 1 hr and 45 mins. So we didn’t exactly set a new world record and were considerably longer then a car trip would have taken.

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