Letter to the editor: Clark County needs rapid transit bus line expansion


Dear Reflector readers,

I am writing this email to voice my support for CTRAN’S expansion of its rapid transit bus line known as “The Vine on Fourth Plain.” For those who are unaware, currently Clark County’s existing express line on Fourth Plain only covers the area from the mall to downtown Vancouver. The new plan provided plans to expand that route through east Vancouver while maintaining 15-minute dispatches for each stop. While several existing routes cover specific areas of Fourth Plain, this will streamline routes in the area by providing one direct through the highway. As a Battle Ground local, I believe this will make traveling across Vancouver a lot easier for us as this bus line will directly connect with the Battle Ground’s local bus line.

In addition to the convenience of the line for Battle Ground residents, putting funding into public transportation systems has shown to have a wide variety of benefits including combating climate change, improving residents’ health and providing a financially viable alternative for commuters. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, “Public transportation uses less fuel and produces lower levels of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and carbon dioxide (CO2) per passenger mile relative to private vehicles.” As evidenced by this report, an extension to Clark County’s current line could significantly cut down air pollution in the area by offering a more-sustainable alternative to commuters. The CDC argues that not only does public transportation decrease pollution, but it also improves health, which can be seen in this passage from their website: “Increasing access to frequent, reliable public transportation can lead to fewer traffic vehicle crashes, reduced air pollution and associated respiratory illnesses, and increased physical activity levels. Even people who don’t use public transportation benefit from less traffic congestion, less pollution and lower community costs for healthcare.” According to a report by the American Public Transit Association, investment in transportation can create long-term benefits for their community. This can be seen within this summary provided by the organization: ”Increased investment in public transportation can lead to significant economic growth as a result of both the short-term stimulus impact of public transportation outlays and a longer-term, cumulative impact on economic productivity. The latter is enabled by increasing investment to improve our nation’s urban transportation systems and sustaining the investment over time.”

As I have argued, I believe there are several reasons why residents of Battle Ground should support this proposition. It will provide a connecting route to our current local line, which will provide commuters with an easy way to access a large portion of Clark County.

Investing in this as a community will also promote environmentalism, community health and the county’s economy. By supporting CTRAN’s new proposal, we will receive a more efficient and sustainable way to travel around Clark County.

Will Kuch

Battle Ground