Tag Archives: rural public transit

National Public Transit: Transit Needs Us All On Board

daveheidebrechtDespite living in a world where digital technology has created a global network of interconnections that permeate into most cultures across the globe, our societies and cultures often operate in a disconnected landscape structured on the ideas that sculpted the societies and cultures of our recent past.   In short, while globalization in its various forms has brought many positive advances to benefit the human condition (along with many negative ones), some cultures and societies have been better at adapting to (and managing) change than others.  In places where the transition to new ways of living has been successful, a common theme is an appreciation by governments, planners, and the general public as to why change is needed, how it benefits the population, and what the outcomes will be.

While Canada has in the past been seen as a world leader in many respects, more recently our global credit for innovative approaches to common challenges (such as peacekeeping, environmental leadership, and democratic ideals) has been falling fast.  From the inside looking out, those who are engaged in the cultural dialogues taking place across our country would agree that many of our political leaders (at all levels) are not doing much in the way of leading.  Not to paint with too broad a brush, there are many exceptions to the rule (Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi for one), but more often than not, our political leaders have failed to live up to their end of the democratic bargain.  In this respect, transportation planning is no different.  Granted, we are fortunate enough to live in a geographically vast country with a relatively small population, and as such, our metropolitan regions have had no reason in the past to consider the incredible importance of functioning transportation systems in densely populated regions.  More recently though, as population growth and urban sprawl have seen our cities expand horizontally rather than vertically, some Canadian cities—Vancouver, Calgary, and most recently Waterloo—have actually taken this issue quite seriously.  Realizing that challenges such as gridlock and healthy urban living are tightly tied to the overall health of their region, leaders in these cities have engaged directly with the public to build systems that work to improve the quality of life for their citizens while also creating an environment where business, culture, and nature can all benefit.  Incredibly inspiring, the choices made in these cities can serve as excellent examples for regions facing similar challenges. Continue reading

National Public Transit: City forecasts increased public transit usage for 2013

The City of Charlottetown, in partnership with Trius Transit, is anticipating another successful year for the transit system.

Charlottetown transit experienced growth throughout 2012 with ridership up eight per cent over 2011.

In February 2013, the Monday-to-Friday daily average was 1,291 people, which represented a 19.6 per cent increase over February 2012.

“Charlottetown transit is an affordable and environmentally friendly transportation option that we encourage citizens to take advantage of,” said Mayor Clifford Lee. “The city worked hard with Trius Transit to provide many improvements in 2012, including a more aggressive marketing plan, and it’s great to see those efforts producing such positive results.”

The city entered into a transit agreement with Trius Transit, the Town of Stratford and the Town of Cornwall in 2012 to provide regional transit services to the three municipalities.

Transit was also re-branded last year with the new T3 logo and tagline, “Take Transit Today”, which represents the three-way partnership. New signage was created, uniforms were provided to drivers and the buses were painted bright green with yellow trim.

Transit schedules have also undergone many revisions to increase frequency and availability, and passengers have reported it to be a more reliable service.

As a result of the changes, two statistical records were broken in 2012: the number of passengers using transit per day; and the number of riders per month.

“We have no reason to think those numbers won’t continue to grow as we keep making improvements to the transit and we’re able to access more routes and appeal to more passengers,” said Coun. Terry Bernard, chair of the city’s public works, street lighting and transit committee.

Source: TheGuardian

Just wating on a public transit route…

The affordability of transit is playing a role in the growth of ridership across the US states a 2012 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another key finding was that Baby Boomers, empty nesters and young professionals are also using more public transit.

In our own community we have quite a few empty nesters and we are also attracting Baby Boomers as a retirement option. Having access to public transit only increases the desirability to choose our community to retire in… thus boosting our economy. As for the young professionals, most here drive but I for one don’t and would love to see the TROUT partner with Carlow Mayo as I know others that live here have similar feelings (see TROUT’S report). The access to have some independence without having to rely on a neighbour, family or friend only enhances the quality of life.

TROUT has made some great progress over the last couple of years and we will keep striving to achieve even greater accessibility and service.

Author: Sharron Clayton

International Public Transit: Public transportation hits 10.5B rides in 2012

Ridership on buses, subways and other modes of public transportation in the USA rose 1.5%  to 10.5 billion  trips last year, the highest annual total since 2008,  according to a new report.

Although Superstorm Sandy  and its aftermath slowed ridership on some of the nation’s largest transit systems, at least 16  systems reported record ridership numbers in 2012,  says the American Public Transportation Association.

“When Sandy hit, and the snowstorm that followed it, an estimated 74 million  (transit) trips were lost, and yet we still had the second-highest ridership since 1957,”  said APTA president and CEO Michael Melaniphy. Continue reading

Changing Transportation Behaviour in the Prairies and the Northern Territories

Overview
This article profiles several people living in the Prairies and the Northern Territories who have changed their transportation habits as a direct result of their participation in a sustainable transportation program. Their stories illustrate how even simple transportation initiatives can have a long-term, beneficial impact on people’s travel behaviours—changing drivers
into carpoolers, transit users, cyclists, pedestrians and teleworkers.
Transport Canada(February 13, 2013)
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Changing Transportation Behaviour in Quebec

Overview
This article presents five Quebec residents who have modified their travel habits thanks to their direct participation in a sustainable transportation program. Their accounts illustrate how simple transportation initiatives, such as car sharing, cycling and walking, public transit and teleworking, can have positive long-term effects on people’s lifestyle and travel habits. The programs and policies highlighted are implemented by municipal and provincial governments, schools,
transportation authorities, not-for-profit organizations and private companies.
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Charlottetown Transit

rural public transitOverview

In 2005, the City of Charlottetown partnered with a private bus operator to manage and run a small, local transit system. The system serves Charlottetown’s 32,000 residents on five routes six days a week. In a departure from more conventional transit systems, Charlottetown Transit uses heritage style diesel trolley buses that are considered more in keeping with the City’s heritage values.

As a public-private partnership, the system operator keeps the $2 transit fares and receives support from the City of Charlottetown in the form of an annual operating subsidy that is set up on a declining scale. The current subsidy is worth over $600,000, but will decline to $375,000 at the end of the five-year contract term at which point it is anticipated that the service will have grown to seven routes and an annual ridership of 250,000. The operator, Trius Tours, is fully responsible for all management of the system, including marketing, operations and all system maintenance. In 2006, Charlottetown’s transit services represented just over 1.5% of the City’s $37 million operating budget. 

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Ontario’s Transit Supportive Guidelines

Ontario’s Transit-Supportive Guidelines are a distillation of transit-friendly land use planning, urban design and operational practices, drawing from experiences in Ontario, elsewhere in North America and abroad. Their aim is to assist urban planners, transit planners, developers and others, working in communities of all sizes, in creating an environment that is supportive of transit and developing services and programs to increase transit ridership.

Download the Transit Supportive Guidelines.

 

Olivia Chow hosts open forum on public transit

(Source: CP24) — The federal government must make a long-term financial commitment to building public transit if it is indeed serious about reducing gridlock in cities like Toronto.

That’s the message that NDP MP Olivia Chow delivered to a group of about 75 students at a forum on public transit Thursday night.

The event, “End Gridlock; Get Canada Moving: A Plan For Action” was held at Vanier College on the York University campus.

Olivia Chow, news, rural public transit

In terms of GTA gridlock, Chow said that the greatest problem is finding “long-term, predictable funding.”

“It’s not just about how much – it’s about how it’s given out,” Chow said following the forum Thursday night. “Short-term funding just doesn’t work. So the federal government needs to take the leadership and partner with different levels of government so that we can solve the gridlock problem together.”

Chow said she is currently waiting for a response from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on the strategy.

“What is exciting, is that the [Federation of Canadian Municipalities] and mayors from across the country are joining together and saying that a long-term plan is what’s needed,” she said.

Traditionally the federal government has funded public transit infrastructure on a project-by-project basis, but Chow said they should make at least a 20-year financial commitment so city’s like Toronto can plan for the long term.

A similar commitment was made by the Government of Ontario in 2010 when it pledged to complete five major transit projects within 10 years at a cost of $9.5 billion.

“It should really be about a 20-year commitment that is predictable and that grows with the economy and grows with the ridership,” Chow told CP24 earlier Thursday. “As you know, more and more people are taking the TTC, but as a result we are packed. There are times you can’t even get onto the streetcar or get into the subway because the cars are packed. We need more [transit].”

Chow, the NDP’s transport and infrastructure critic, has publically called for a national transit strategy in the past, however to date she has not had any success getting the Conservative government on side with her private member’s bill.

Speaking with CP24 Thursday, Chow suggested the problem is reaching a boiling point.

“We desperately need a national transit strategy because, on average, Canadians are spending almost a month a year trying to get to work, or classes, or to visits friends,” she said. “Here in the GTA, it’s even worse. We spend about 82 minutes a day commuting and that’s time that we could be spending with our families.”

Chow’s meeting on public transit comes in the wake of the City of Toronto rolling out a campaign to solicit ideas from the public on how it can improve its transit network.

The “Feeling Congested?” campaign was unveiled Monday with the launch of an interactive website and the announcement that four public consultations will be held on transit over the next two weeks.