BACCC asked all municipal candidates for their views on environmentally-friendly transportation options, presenting them with these three questions. Views expressed are solely those of the candidates and do not reflect the views of BACCC or its members. All responses have been reviewed to ensure appropriateness and relevance to the questions posed. We encourage you to make an informed decision by researching your local candidates.
Hamilton Ward 6 Candidate Chris Slye
From the recommendations in BACCC’s Options for Travel report, which would be your top priority to enact to ensure safe, reliable, convenient and equitable transportation options?
There are so many good recommendations, but for me, if we can’t get recommendation 5 right (improved service to business parks and analysis of routes for this purpose), then we will never reach our shared goal of increasing public transit use in Hamilton. Getting to work and back is for most people, the primary driver when considering their transportation options. Sure, people would like better and more efficient service in their leisure time, but when you need to get to work you need a ride that will be consistent, fast, safe and affordable.
Conducting an in depth analysis of how we can improve our ridership’s commute times to our vital business parks in the greater Hamilton area and then taking the necessary steps, including investment from the city, to ensure we can make those improvements.
If environmentally friendly transportation options are not convenient, residents will be less likely to choose those options over driving.
What steps would you take to ensure environmentally friendly transportation options are convenient?
We know convenience largely has to do with waiting times, but it also largely has to do with efficient routes.
We need to take an evidence based approach to transit, where we look at the most vital routes and fund them accordingly. It also means adding or changing routes to make sure residents feel like transit is convenient. There is also a cost component to this; convenience is transit being accessible to all residents regardless of their socio-economic status. We need to ensure that transit is as inexpensive as possible (perhaps even free) for those that want to make the choice our environment and future requires them to make.
As councillor I will commit to working towards the improvements of increased bus frequency, lower bus fares, and extending an evaluating the current routes for their efficiency (bringing people to where they work and shop).
Environmentally friendly transportation needs to be perceived as safe in order to be viewed as a viable option.
What steps would you take to ensure all users feel safe when using all transportation methods?
If we are going to tackle the issue of safety, we need to make sure that we are listening to the people that feel unsafe. Increasing the frequency of buses will also ensure that women and vulnerable groups don’t feel like they have to wait forever at a bus stop, especially in the evening/night.
But there is also the element of making sure that transit operators have the education and tools they need to handle the myriad of situations that can arise. Anti-bias training will also ensure that the diverse people that make up our wonderful city feel welcomed and accepted in these spaces.