“Students Cannot Wait”: Metro Vancouver student unions unite in call for immediate transit funding alongside Mayors’ Council

February 15, 2024

Vancouver, B.C. – With the B.C. provincial budget just around the corner, student groups from University of British Columbia (UBC), Capilano University, Simon Fraser University (SFU), and BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) are sounding a collective call to action for immediate investment in the Access for Everyone transit expansion plan.

At UBC, an event organized by UBC Alma Mater Society last week saw 500+ students sign the Mayors’ Council Access for Everyone petition. Students shared personal stories of long commutes, missed opportunities and the critical role transit plays in their daily lives.

“These conversations were eye-opening,” said Joshua Kim, Vice President External Affairs, Alma Mater Society of UBC. “Our students are demanding better transit, and it’s time their voices were heard.”

Similar campaigns are being organized at campuses across the region, including at Capilano University, where a survey of 119 student commuters paints a dire picture of the daily grind faced by students. At Cap U, 65% of students make three or more transfers to reach campus by transit, with 40% enduring over two-hour commutes each way.

“What should be a simple commute has become a daily marathon. We deserve better,” said Karandeep Sanghera, President of Capilano Students’ Union. “Efficient transit isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity for a sustainable, equitable future for everyone.”

“As students, we’re struggling due to our limited transit options,” said Nancy Brar,

Vice President External & Community Affairs of Simon Fraser Student Society.

“It’s a barrier to our education and future opportunities. We need a transit system that keeps up with us, not one that holds us back.”

“Students at BCIT and other colleges and universities have been essential to the development of a sustainable transit culture, taking almost 25 million journeys in 2022,” said Jimmy Wang, Vice-President External of the BCIT Student Association. “Federal and provincial investment is critical to growing regional transit and improving everybody’s commute.”

“Our transit system is at a breaking point,” said Mayor Brad West, Chair of the TransLink Mayors’ Council. “Every day, students, young workers, seniors, and newcomers face the brunt of overcrowded buses and long waits. It’s more than an inconvenience; it’s a barrier to education, employment, essential services, and more broadly, affordability.”

With the B.C. Budget 2024/2025 being released by the provincial government on February 22, 2024, there’s a growing call for the inclusion of new funding for TransLink.

In addition to student unions, many community and business organizations and thousands of residents across Metro Vancouver have joined the Access for Everyone campaign to push for increased funding from provincial and federal governments to ensure the region’s transit system can keep up with population growth.

Media Contacts: 

Eric Lowe

Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, UBC AMS


Karandeep Singh Sanghera

President, Capilano Students’ Union

Stewart McGillivray

Government Relations Strategist, BCIT Student Association


Simon Fraser Student Society