UBC Reports | Vol. 49 | No. 9 | Sep.
First ComPASS Study Begins
By Brian Lin
For the first time in Canada, researchers will study if a
community transportation pass will reduce traffic congestion
and greenhouse gas emissions.
Led by UBCs TREK Program Centre and funded in part
by a $100,000 research grant from the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities, the current phase of the pilot project will
give 14 families in the UBC neighbourhood a free community
transportation pass for two months this fall.
The ComPASS will be modelled after the student U-Pass, approved
by a student referendum with the largest voter turn-out in
UBCs history. Starting this month, U-Pass gives students
access to transit across three zones and costs $20 per month,
less than one-third of a one-zone bus pass.
The families experiences will be documented by video
and an in-depth study will determine whether access to low
transit fares, car-sharing, bicycle programs and a guaranteed
emergency ride home will increase transit use, says TREK Director
A preliminary study last fall surveyed 250 families in the
Vancouver West Side. Half the families then received a free
bus pass and researchers recorded changes in their transportation
We chose this neighbourhood because we know it is already
well-served by public transit, explains Lovegrove. A
main component of any community transportation pass program
is reliable transit service.
Later this year, a random survey of 1,000 families in the
GVRD will help determine the overall response to such a program.
TransLink and the City of Vancouver are both partners
in this project, says Lovegrove. The results of
all three phases of this project will be used in future discussions
with TransLink and other community partners, such as Co-operative
Auto Network, about the possibility of providing community
transportation passes to the entire GVRD area.