By Letter to the Editor on November 11, 2020.
Can anyone pollute more than the City of Lethbridge?
If you consider the amount of greenhouse gases created to transport persons in the Lethbridge Transit system, it is essentially impossible for anyone in Canada to produce greater carbon footprints per person than our nearly empty bus parade (City Transit). Here is why the City is one of Canada’s top polluters.
No private transportation company can pollute at the City’s level since they have to be financially viable to survive. Survival in the private sector is only possible when there is sufficient ridership (hence lower carbon emissions per person) to create the revenue to fund the operation. With bus occupancy levels low (probably less than 10 per cent), the transit system survives primarily with taxation dollars.
The only possible entity that can pollute at our level or worse would have to be another public transit system using diesel buses and having an occupancy level even less than ours. It is difficult for a city to have a greater vacancy rate than ours. Hence Lethbridge is on the leaderboard of Canada’s worst transportation polluters.
At this point in time, any non public ride agency would be providing transportation to Lethbridge individuals with a lower carbon footprint than City Transit. So if you are inclined to be environmentally responsible, using the City’s transit system should be your last choice if other ride options are not available.
It matters that we have circulating empty buses, because they function only to convert tax dollars into greenhouse gas emissions.
One is pessimistic that anyone at city hall will develop an environmental conscience and protect the Earth from our transit system. Presently forcing the taxpayers to fund environmental damage is seen as an acceptable practice.