Comparing traffic and road networks to water in a pipe is a common analogy, not one that always makes sense, but using that analogy, below I set out one reason why we need better transit in Metro Vancouver.
Firstly, even if you never use transit, you can't be happy at the thought of 1 million more people and their cars further clogging up Metro Vancouver roads. Even if you have no intention of ever using the proposed new transit services, you must be hoping that most of the 1 million new people that are expected to arrive in the region have the opportunity to do so, and therefore, are not be sitting in front of you in traffic slowing you down more than you currently are.
If transit does not improve, we can expect more congestion and longer commutes. The Yes campaign promises time savings of 20-30 minutes per day and cutting congestion by 20%. While I haven't seen the data these claims are based on, really, what I would suspect is that your commute won't get 20-30 minutes longer per day, it will stay somewhere around current levels despite the extra 1 million people. Going back to the pipe analogy, how do you get more water through the pipe when the pipe is full?
We live in a largely developed region with limited scope to increase the size of the pipe. We live in a region of bridges to cross various bodies of water, these bridges have a fixed vehicle capacity, short of building newer wider bridges or more bridges, we cannot provide extra vehicle capacity on the Port Mann, Pattullo, Alex Fraser, Knight Street, Pitt River, Golden Ears, Lions Gate, Second Narrows, etc, etc. These bridges are already congested at peak times, if you can't increase the number of vehicles you have to increase the number of people in each vehicle.
What if you never have to cross a bridge? Why do you need more transit? Our city streets are no different, and road width is constrained to current proportions by buildings on either side. Our cities are largely built out and there is little scope in most places to widen roads to provide more capacity. The same concept applies, during already congested peak times, if you can't increase the number of vehicles you have to increase the number of people in each vehicle if we are to move more people along the same corridor..
More People in the Pipe, Not More Vehicles
How do we get more down the pipe when there is little scope to increase the size of the pipe. This is where the pipe analogy falls apart a little, water is water and we can't do much to increase the density. With roads we can stop thinking about traffic as cars and start thinking about it as people. We can most certainly increase the number of people down the pipe without increasing the number of vehicles and we all know what the answer to that is... more transit...