Categories
Transportation

The transformation of conventional transit is coming

bird
Image courtesy of the City of Santa Monica

David Pickeral, a consultant, posted a LinkedIn message that caught my attention. Within his message was a link to American Public Transportation Association (APTA) statistics which showed a 2% decline from the previous year in United States transit system ridership. There was a 6% increase for Canadian systems, but should still ring some alarm bells on both sides of the border.

Why the difference? More people are using new mobility options in American cities because there are quite a few more options. Dan Sperling predicts that new mobility will have more ridership than conventional transit.

Categories
Politics Transportation

Reason for Optimism?

government

Watching the social media commentary during and after the announcement of the $28.5 billion provincially-funded portion of the Toronto transit plan, there was plenty of pessimism and skepticism all around. 

I am going to try to be a bit of an optimist. There is plenty to discuss regarding the “Ontario Line” and the subway and Eglinton Crosstown LRT extensions.  I’m just tired of talking about the extensions because that has been debated to death.

Categories
Governance Leadership Politics Transportation

Talk about funding transit with one voice

While I partially agree with this tweet by “urbanist” Adam Chaleff (a term I absolutely detest by the way), it set me off. The article Chaleff referred to was about finding innovative ways to fund the Waterfront East LRT according to Mark Romoff.  Romoff included a land value capture model that is being used to revitalize Mimico GO Station and leveraging the use of the Canada Infrastructure Bank.  The latter is an idea that I fully supported, and so did Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.  Critics have stated infrastructure banks similar to ones in Chicago and Los Angeles, have gotten off to slow starts.  One of the reasons is that we tend to work in silos.

Categories
Transportation

Missed Connections

Several days ago, I was asked for my thoughts on transit amalgamation from a couple of seasoned veterans in the urban space.  This was in light of Thursday’s Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance talk on transit regional governance with Joe Berridge, Trisha Wood and Michael Schabas and The Agenda’s panel discussion the night before. While I agree that transit governance and funding are discussions well worth having now, the significance of the end user, aka the passenger has been missing.  I’m not just talking about affordability, mobility or accessibility.  It is about the passenger experience.

Categories
Leadership Politics Transportation

A systems approach to regional transit governance

Regional transit governance has been in the news within the last year and it is my time to chime in. It has been over a year since The Toronto Board of Trade released a proposal on the formation of a new regional transit agency loosely defined as Superlinx. The paper outlines a regional transit governance structure with boundaries in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) rather than the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Now that GO Transit commuter bus and rail extends to Niagara, Waterloo and Kawartha Lakes Regions, it only makes sense to have a new governance structure defined as such.