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Public transit can make families fitter, health-wise and finacially
The future of the Comox Valley transit system service is now being discussed by local governments. We would like to share our experience of using the local transit system. Our household has two working adults and no children living at home. Up to a year and half ago we owned two cars. We now are able to function quite well with one car because of our access to a morning bus that gets us downtown for work by 8.15 a.m.
We now use a car, bicycles and transit to meet our transportation needs. Without access to the bus, particularly in the winter, we could not have made the shift to one vehicle.
The benefits of this decision have been many. Financially we are saving on the gas, maintenance and depreciation expenses associated with a second car. This saves us thousands of dollars a year. In fact, the financial benefit of the local transit service saves us more than what we pay in property taxes!
Having the one car gets us off our butts and on our bikes which is good for our health and well being. We also know that we are driving less which in a small way reduces CO2 emissions.
Having one car and relying on transit and cycling is less convenient. Sharing the car requires us to co-ordinate and plan in advance. However, the benefits to our bank account, our health and the planet are well worth it.
Less cars on the road will reduce the need for expensive road and bridge expansions, reduce air pollution and ease congestion. We think that supporting an expansion of the transit system to improve frequency of service would allow many more Comox Valley residents to become one-car households.