The wheels on the bus go round and round

Last night marked the Vancouver City Council’s new citizen forum, and to quote one audience member: “This is better than reality TV.”

Certainly the back-and-forth allows for a less formal exchange and a few good bons mots.

The star of this 90-minute exchange? Most certainly Larry Patella, light rail, CRC and government critic. Mr. Patella took his time to speak with the council on any subject of his liking to single out C-Tran.

He questioned the need for more and newer buses when, he said, the majority of them are empty during non-peak hours.

“They don’t put tinted windows on buses to keep the sun out,” Patella said. “They put them on so we can’t see they’re empty!”

He invited the council, especially Councilor Bart Hansen (who rides C-Tran every day to work), to join him on the bus for 10 or 12 hours to prove his point. There was a silence, and no takers.

But Councilor Jeanne Stewart did offer to meet with him about C-Tran.

Patella then entered into a discussion about Americans’ love affairs with their cars, and how people shouldn’t be forced onto alternative transportation. Councilor Larry Smith chimed in, saying he is looking to the future, when fuel prices will no doubt be much higher.

“If you think energy is going to come down in cost, I think you’re smoking something, because it’s going to stay high,” Smith told him.

The two shook hands after the meeting, and then could be heard criticizing the Obama administration’s stance on domestic drilling.

Scroll to top