I will be applying for re-entry into the Masters of Public Administration program at Western University for the 2020 academic year. While I would be entitled to change my interest, I wanted to come up with a new topic that reflects my passion of strategic planning with the purpose of relationship and community building.
So why would I want to be discussing this now? Whether I would be accepted or not, it is a topic worth discussing.
I am sitting in my room watching the last 0.9 seconds on the clock which seemed like an eternity for the inevitable to happen. Draymond Green in pure Michigander style dumbfoundedly attempts to call a time out when the team didn’t have one. A technical foul was called. Kawhi Leonard sinks the 2 baskets with the Raptors up by 4. Stephen Curry heaves the ball 3/4 up the court. Kyle Lowry grabs it. Game over. The Raptors are NBA Champions. #Rapsin6ix.
As I sit here deep in thought while in suburbia during the Easter long weekend, I contemplate the opportunities and challenges brought about by the future of shared mobility.
New mobility in the form of transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft and autosharing) and micromobility (Dropbike, Lime) are disrupting the transportation world to address the first and last mile problem.
The transit file has reared its ugly head yet again.
During Tuesday’s podcast of On the Ledge podcast with Dave Trafford, John Wright and Keith Leslie, they discussed how the Provincial Tories have an opportunity to stake their claim and become a “Legacy Government” on the transportation – namely transit, infrastructure, health care, and education files. Two things stood out for me during the podcast.
First, was the panel’s assumption that the Conservatives, namely Premier Doug Ford, is seemingly amenable to above ground transit technology, aka light rail transit.
Second, with respect to the subway upload, the assertion is that the upload is for the design and build of future subway lines and not existing ones. Dave Trafford confirmed with the Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek this morning on the Moore in the AM radio talk show that the Province, ie Metrolinx, would also include maintenance. Maintenance does take up a considerable chunk out of a transit system’s budget. Therefore, the proposed upload could entail the TTC maintaining and operating the existing network, while only operating the newer systems.
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.
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.