Beedie undergrads examine election’s effect on public transit

Mar 20, 2013
Gordon Price, Director of the City Program at SFU, speaking at the Get On Board SFU event.

Gordon Price, Director of the City Program at SFU, speaking at the Get On Board SFU event.

A group of Beedie school of Business undergraduate students explored how the forthcoming provincial elections will affect issues in public transit at an event held at SFU’s Surrey campus last week.

The event, Get On Board SFU, featured guest speakers Gordon Price, Director of the City Program at SFU, former Board Member of Metro Vancouver & Translink, and recent recipient of the SFU President’s Award for 2012; City of Surrey councillor Tom Gill; and Nick Smith, project manager at Sustainable SFU.

The event was organized by students in Beedie School of Business professor Dianne Cyr’s Business Leadership class in the BBA program. Cyr split the class into groups of five, and set each the task of working with a non-profit organization.

One group of students, Robin Dong, Joyce Mai, Ben Tan, Jason Yang, and Jerry You, opted to team with Sustainable SFU. After learning about Sustainable SFU’s Get On Board campaign, the students decided to organize the event to raise awareness among their fellow SFU students.

“Although the Get On Board SFU event gave us the opportunity to hone our leadership skills, the main objective was to raise awareness of the transportation issues surrounding BC,” says Dong. “Thanks to the efforts of our guest speakers and the support of our professor Dianne, we were able to accomplish what we set out to achieve.”

Keynote speaker Price spoke at the event about the issues surrounding Vancouver’s public transit system, touching on the cost of public transit, the campaign to preserve the U-Pass system, the need to change the car culture that is prevalent throughout Vancouver, and what the future holds for the public transit system in Vancouver.

Councillor Gill then talked about his role in Surrey’s transit system before the floor was opened to allow questions from the audience, resulting in an enthusiastic debate between the speakers and some passionate attendees on issues such as the city’s roads and bridges.

“The students did a fantastic job in organizing the event, successfully tackling a number of logistical challenges and were able to obtain some high profile speakers,” says Cyr. “The event certainly encouraged some lively discussion, but also provided the students with a degree of experiential learning and a chance to engage with the local community. They can be proud of what they accomplished.”

For more information on the Get On Board campaign, visit

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