Media archives

International Transit: FTA and FEMA agree roles for addressing public transit needs in future major disasters

The US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that outlines the roles and responsibilities of both agencies in providing federal assistance to repair and restore public transportation systems in areas the President has declared a major disaster or emergency. FTA’s newly authorized Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program was established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the MOA is required to establish the relief program

. “After disasters hit, our federal, state and local partners must be able to move quickly and make the necessary repairs to our nation’s transit systems, roads, rails and bridges,” said US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Today’s announcement makes it easier for them to get to work, and DOT will continue to work closely with FEMA and our partners to ensure that emergency relief funds are available as quickly as possible to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy.”

The MOA is a key requirement that must be in place before the bulk of the FTA’s disaster relief funds for Hurricane Sandy aid can be released, as prescribed by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Continue reading →

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events, International Public Transit and tagged disater, FEMA, FTA, government, International Public Transit, policy, public transit on March 6, 2013 by john. Edit

Cash for rural transit may be en route

http://catchthetrout.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/TROUTOct2012-003.jpghttp://catchthetrout.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/TROUTOct2012-003.jpg‘Communities can’t wait another year,’ Hendsbee says

Those living without a car on the outskirts of Halifax Regional Municipality usually have to rely on their feet, a bicycle or the kindness of friends and strangers to get around.

And with the suggestion of an urban transit boundary in the regional plan, it is unlikely bus routes will pull into those rural communities any time soon.

Instead, Metro Transit has suggested rural communities come up with their own transit solutions, something the municipality may help pay for if council approves the funding scheme that went before the grants committee Monday. Continue reading →

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events and tagged news, public transit, rural transit, transportation on March 5, 2013 by john. Edit

Our Economy Needs Public Transit To Tackle Gridlock

Ontario has followed the same basic transportation strategy for decades. We build more roads, traffic congestion increases. The result? Longer commutes. Less farmland. Frustrating traffic jams. Soaring asthma rates.

Clearly, the status quo isn’t working. Ontario needs change. Gridlock costs $6 billion per year in the GTHA alone. If we continue with the status quo, congestion will cost $15 billion per year by 2031. There are clear economic costs when we can’t move goods and people efficiently. There’s also a cost to our families and communities when we spend more time in the car than at home.

We need a strategy that will take Ontario’s economy out of gridlock and into the fast lane. Continue reading →

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events and tagged gridlock, ontario, public transit on March 4, 2013 by john. Edit

McCallion blames poor planning for transit woes

Hazel McCallion.

Mayor Hazel McCallion told last night’s meeting of the Toronto Region Board of Trade thattransportation issues have caused a crisis across the GTA.

The mayor cited poor planning, communication and arrogance on the part of the provincial government, City of Toronto officials and other members of government, including herself, who neglected to make transportation the focus of land use.
“It’s not been the basis of land use planning and that’s why we’re in the mess that we’re in,” said McCallion at the meeting, billed as a “fireside chat” by its sponsor, the Urban Land Institute’s Toronto chapter.

“One of the greatest things that we did not do well, and all municipalities are guilty of this, was that transportation should have been the basis of all decisions back then. When we look at the GTA, we say ‘why are we in this problem?’ Transportation is one of the things that should be a land use decision, but it’s never been that way and it still isn’t. Continue reading →

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events and tagged congestion, Hazel McCallion, public transit, transportation on March 1, 2013 by john. Edit

Public transit safest mode of transportation, study says

Vancouver – If you wanna be safe, take the bus – and leave the motorbike on blocks.

That’s the conclusion from a new study on the relative safety of the car, bicycle, and motorcycle as opposed to walking and public transit.

Buses and public transit are the safest, while motorbikes are the most dangerous. Continue reading →

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events and tagged canada, public transit, rural transit, safety on March 1, 2013 by john. Edit

Could Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne reboot a national transit strategy?

Ontario’s new premier is vowing to put transit planning back on the federal radar, a call to arms that could succeed where others have failed.

The Globe and Mail reports that freshly-crowned Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week and spoke about the need for a national strategy to fund transit projects in Canada.

“Infrastructure is one of the issues that I’ve said very clearly that I’m going to be raising with the federal government – particularly infrastructure and transit funding. I think that it’s extremely important that those two go hand in hand,” Wynne told the Globe.

Wynne’s focus would certainly be Ontario systems, specifically the overburdened and aging Toronto transit grid, but it is a message that could help across the country.

The last formal bid to start a national public transit strategy came in 2011, when NDP MP Olivia Chow introduced Bill C-305, intent on tackling the fragmented transit planning approach.

The National Public Transit Strategy Act aimed to build a game plan to ensure fast, accessible transit across Canada.

The keys were to reduce commute times, alleviate congestion and establish a permanent funding system, rather than one-off funding promises issued piecemeal. It was officially rejected in 2012, as the Conservative government elected to maintain the status quo.

Canada is also the only G8 nation without a national transit strategy. This says something about how serious other nations are taking the issue, or perhaps how much we are not.

The University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance considered the proper role of the federal government in a transit strategy, and suggested the current funding arrangements lacked transparency and actually “has a negative impact on public transit.”

It recommended a dedicated, long-term commitment that funds regions and projects based on a clear allocation formula.

So how would a national transit strategy actually work?

In the United States, 0.067 per cent of the GDP goes toward transit through the Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA).

SAFETEA was signed into law in 2005, guaranteeing $244.1 billion in funding for highways and public transportation systems. The one-stop shop for transit funding streamlines construction and safety improvements, allows states to react quickly to issues causing congestion and ensures each state receives an equitable share of funding.

So, you know, something like that would be a start.

Whatever the end result, it is progress that the issue is being discussed. The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) wrapped up a two-day conference today, focused on the economic benefits of investing in transit.

“It is important to put transit at the centre of communities across Canada and to keep transit at the forefront of urban development and growth” CUTA President Michael Roschlau said. “These meetings are an opportunity to reinforce that message with government and industry stakeholders.”

Yes. More talking, please. Maybe something will be said that spurs action.

Author: Mathew Coutts

Source: YahooNews

Leave a reply This entry was posted in About the Trout, Blog, Events on February 27, 2013 by john. Edit

A day in the life of Canberra’s bus network

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