Editorial — A service we don’t use

Langley residents are not getting their money’s worth from TransLink.

A Statistics Canada study in 2010 found that 82 per cent of people use cars to get to work, while 12 per cent used transit and six per cent walked.

Nine million of the 10.6 million Canadians going off to work said they had never used transit. Of the 1.6 million who had tried transit, 53 per cent of those people considered it inconvenient.

The study showed that it takes considerably longer to take transit to work. In Canada’s six largest cities, it took an average of 27 minutes to get to or from work by car, but 44 minutes by transit.

All times are for door-to-door travel — from the door of the home to the door of the workplace.

The study does not break down figures for communities like Langley. In the Metro Vancouver area, it took an average of 23 minutes longer to travel to work by transit than by car.

Some earlier Statistics Canada information from 2006 provides more illuminating figures about transit in Langley. These figures prove conclusively that TransLink is of little to no value to the vast majority of Langley residents, even though they pay large sums towards its existence through property and gas taxes.

In Langley City, depending on the area, between 81 and 94 per cent of people used their cars to get to work. The highest transit use, in one Langley City neighborhood, was 11.6 per cent.

In Aldergrove, over 95 per cent of residents used cars to get to work. Transit use was just 1.8 per cent.

In Langley Township urban neighbourhoods, such as Murrayville, Willoughby and Walnut Grove, the numbers of car commuters were between 88.9 per cent and 92.3 per cent. In the Salmon River uplands area, where there is virtually no transit service, the figure was the highest in the entire Metro Vancouver region — 96.5 per cent.

The figures also show that between 4.1 and 8.4 per cent of people in Langley City walk to work.

A few hardy souls continue to use transit to commute to and from work. More power to them. The transit service has improved marginally here, since the 2006 figures were compiled, notably with service to Maple Ridge, service along 64 Avenue and more frequent service on the 502 route, which goes through Surrey to SkyTrain.

Despite that, Langley residents are not getting their money’s worth.

Langley Times