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.
“Density is not the main barrier to providing public transport that offers a real alternative to the car; rather, it is a rationalization for inaction.” Paul Mees (2011), Transport for Suburbia
(Source:icrps.org) — If one resides in a rural area and does not have access to a personal vehicle how do they get around? Consider the very nature of a rural community: dispersed population, centralized services, and long distances. Imagine you had no way of reaching the services and activities essential for quality of life. Well, asPart 1 of this series demonstrated, this is a reality for many people residing in rural communities.
One solution to this issue is a public transportation service. However, this idea is far from accepted among decision-makers or the general population; at least in Canada. Indeed, the mere suggestion of public transportation in a rural area is met by rolled eyes and, in some cases, an almost hostile opposition to the very concept. But does this mean that it is infeasible? Certainly not. I am confident that European readers will not feel that transportation outside urban centres is impossible which suggests that the myth needs to be dispelled among Canadian (and probably North American) audiences. One way of doing this is through education and examples, which will be the purpose of Part 2 of this rural transit series. Continue reading
(Source:icprs.org) — Nowhere is this statement more true than in rural areas. Throughout much of Canada a personal vehicle is the only transportation option available thereby severely restricting the mobility of those that cannot drive for any one of a multitude of reasons. Particularly in rural areas where transportation alternatives are rare those residents who do not have reliable access to a personal vehicle in order to access quality of life essentials are put at great risk of transportation disadvantage. This post represents Part 1 of 2 presenting the findings of a research project entitled “Assessing Transportation Disadvantage and Public Transportation Opportunities in Rural Ontario: A Case Study of Huron County”. Continue reading