Greyhound Canada To End Bus Services in Western Provinces!

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Misfit Misfit's picture

Your universal healthcare was fought for by the people of rural Saskatchewan. Without rural Saskatchewan fighting for universal healthcare you would be dependent on the private health insurance companies just like the Americans today. 

Interesting is that rural Saskatchewan supported and used a publicly run regional bus service for over 60 years successfully. I don’t know if any other rural area of Canada that had a provincial crown corporation providing such a service to remote communities. 

Saskatchewan has been the leader in Canada in creating government programs for its people. Many of the ideas you take for granted were fought for and started right here in Saskatchewan.  Saskatchewan is the birthplace of social democratic governments in Canada. There are many things that you today only dream about that we have already had.

people did not vote to remove these services but they did elect right wing governments who did take these services away even though they did not campaign on removing these services. So your saying that rural Saskatchewan voted to remove these services is not true. Not is your saying true that rural Saskatchewan wants to remove unversal healthcare when it was in fact rural Saskatchewan that fought to bring it in. It was Saskatchewan that had the doctor’s strike to fight the implementation of universal healthcare. Universal healthcare is a gift from Saskatchewan to you.

now kindly quit telling me what rural Saskatchewan wants and votes for when voting did not take place to remove these public transportation services. The people voted for nothing. And Saskatchewan has proven for over 60 years that STC could provide that service to the residents of rural Saskatchewan. And it is not up to someone from Ottawa to tell people in Saskatchewan where they should live or what services they should have.

 

 

 

Sean in Ottawa

Misfit wrote:

Sean wrote:

”1) Issues that are presently universal and rural areas do not support -- eg healthcare”

what???  What an absurd statement! Rural Saskatchewan does support universal healthcare and there is no evidence that the residents of rural Saskatchewan do not support universal healthcare.

Context is everything: the issue I am speaking about is your analogy:

"Kinda like if you vote Conservative then you should be cut off from government funded health care because you support the governments that cut back on these programs."

Sorry let me be blunt: if you support a right wing provincial government you are not supporting universal healthcare. Sorry to break it to you.  You might want it but you are not supporting it.

Maybe read this:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-private-participation-in...

"It’s time to allow patients to plan financially for the future health needs that governments cannot or will not provide."

When Rural Saskatchewan supports the Sask Party to the tune of almost 3/4 of the vote, please don't suggest for more than a nanosecond that they as a group support universal healthcare.

A minority may. That's it.

But this was your cruddy analogy. Comparing a program where a majority of Canadians elected a government on the plans to have a national right to healthcare (let's call it what it is hospital and doctor care as it is not even that universal in scope but it is in regions of Canada).

Canadians never elected a government to do universal transit access. Saskatchewan had a service and the people there elected a government that decided to get rid of it. Sure, you can complain that it was a broken promise from 2016 election and you have a political case to make for Saskatchewan. You have no national case to make that the taxpayers outside of Saskatchewan should be happy to fund a replacement service that was cut in rural Saskatchewan by a government that they were the strongest supporters of.

In the context of a national decision to have rural service and make it universal, you have my support, but to be upset that I don't feel that federally we support such a thing dedicated for the part of the country that got rid of it when we have gaps in the parts of the country that actually elect representatives committed to it, that's another.

The Saskatchewan government is uninterested in cost sharing with the feds on this either. They are kept in place by elected representatives of rural Saskatchewan. They have the power in their governing caucus as well.

I have sympathy to the two ridings. This is a question of Saskatchewan fairness not something that the rest of Canada can step in to given the nature of the issue and the fact that there is no such program elsewhere delivered by the feds. Again, Moe is not interested in a cost-sharing plan. Other services in Canada that have any support federally are cost sharing and did not have their province eleiminate it by their government.

Sean in Ottawa

Misfit wrote:

Your universal healthcare was fought for by the people of rural Saskatchewan. Without rural Saskatchewan fighting for universal healthcare you would be dependent on the private health insurance companies just like the Americans today. 

Interesting is that rural Saskatchewan supported and used a publicly run regional bus service for over 60 years successfully. I don’t know if any other rural area of Canada that had a provincial crown corporation providing such a service to remote communities. 

Saskatchewan has been the leader in Canada in creating government programs for its people. Many of the ideas you take for granted were fought for and started right here in Saskatchewan.  Saskatchewan is the birthplace of social democratic governments in Canada. There are many things that you today only dream about that we have already had.

people did not vote to remove these services but they did elect right wing governments who did take these services away even though they did not campaign on removing these services. So your saying that rural Saskatchewan voted to remove these services is not true. Not is your saying true that rural Saskatchewan wants to remove unversal healthcare when it was in fact rural Saskatchewan that fought to bring it in. It was Saskatchewan that had the doctor’s strike to fight the implementation of universal healthcare. Universal healthcare is a gift from Saskatchewan to you.

now kindly quit telling me what rural Saskatchewan wants and votes for when voting did not take place to remove these public transportation services. The people voted for nothing. And Saskatchewan has proven for over 60 years that STC could provide that service to the residents of rural Saskatchewan. And it is not up to someone from Ottawa to tell people in Saskatchewan where they should live or what services they should have.

Apart from telling me stuff I already know -- you miss the fact that the ideology that brought in medicare appears to have collapsed in its birthplace. So speaking about the pasat for present decisions is just a distraction.

Second, I have no sympathy for buyers remorse when it comes to electing conservatives. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the notion that the conservatives did not run on any particular slash and burn proposal. Not one fricken bit.  Many people do not vote. Those who do vote have all the information needed to know what conservatives do. The issue of public transit service in Saskatchewan was in the last election there: the NDP brought it up repeatedly. They wanted to expand it and warned that the SP were a threat to it. The NDP lost the argument and not by a little bit.

Like I said, I call bullshit on voters of right wing parties pretending to be in favor of universal healthcare. If you can't hear the dog whistles then it is not as if they are not blowing loudly enough. 72% decided to trust the Sask Party in rural Saskatchewan. The rest of Canada does not owe you anything you need to look at your neighbours. In that case of healthcare we have a federal mandate to ensure universality so I expect it to be imposed at federal cost on places that do not support it. Not so much for transit even though I wish we had that universal mandate. We need that before we spend dollars in Saskatchewan to make up what you got rid of.

Here in my province my neighbours elected the Ford government. Those who voted for it are not a majority but a minority (unlike rural Saskatchewan). Each Conservative voter is responsible for all that is happening and I do not care that Ford did not promise anything -- they ran a no-platform campaign. I will fight them here but I sure am not expecting the BC taxpayers to make up the difference of anything that Ford gets rid of. That's on us.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Western Canada has subsidized you left right and centre for years. That is a fact. Saskatchewan pats equalization payments to eastern Canada. Ontario and Quebec have both received equalization payments from western Canada. The NEP was a subsidization for eastern Canada on the backs of western Canada. When wheat was at $8.60 a bushel the easterners forced in a ceiling of $5.50 a bushel for wheat sales to eastern Canada and promised that if the price dropped that they would honour the floor price of $3.50 per bushel. When the price bottomed out in wheat and western farmers were suffering, eastern Canada said “Fuck you, we will buy our wheat from the US and scrapped the floor price for domestic sales. Yes, western Canada is well aware of your central Canadian charity and benevolance to western Canada. 

Saskatchewan has not asked for central Canadian charity for our rural transportation. That is pure imagination on your part.

you wrote “We need that before we spend dollars in Saskatchewan to make up what you got rid of.”

WE SUBSIDiZE YOU! Quit imagining us asking you for national funding for rural Saskatchewan transportation.  We know that money travels from the west to the east and not the other way around so please stop. We know better.

goodness gracious! The west expecting anything from the east???

this is really entertaining.

Misfit Misfit's picture

But without your eastern funding for interprovincial transportation, how do low income Canadians travel from Toronto or Ottawa to Vancouver to visit family? The bus system let eastern Canadians from Ottawa travel west.

and as for people voting in the Saskatchewan Party, I don’t think that most Canadians have the sophistication or awareness to really know that a right-wing government is going to dismantle or privatize their public services. You know the difference and I know that this is what right-wing governments do but I do not think that the majority of Canadians are that ideologically sophisticated to know any better. Many right-wingers are aware but the majority of Canadians are just plain ignorant when it comes to matters of the state.

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Sorry let me be blunt: if you support a right wing provincial government you are not supporting universal healthcare. Sorry to break it to you.  You might want it but you are not supporting it.

I'm originally from Brandon, which serves the rural area in southwestern Manitoba. I've heard them talk about things, and I absolutely agree with everything Sean said here. Right-wing governments are predictable, especially when it comes to cutting services. Sure rural Saskatchewan was hurt by privatizing STC, but then why is rural Saskatchewan still solidly behind the party responsible for it? Same thing here in Manitoba. The PCs have proposed cutting ambulance stations in rural areas, and they still have rock-solid levels of support. Doesn't make a great deal of sense. Same thing with the Canadian Wheat Board. I can assure you that everybody knew that the Conservatives wanted to get rid of it and would do so if they had a chance. Yet the farming communities still voted overwhelmingly for the Conservatives in 2015 after it was gone. I lived there when the same-sex marriage issue was current, and I can assure you that the Conservatives were not lying when they said that their constituents wanted to defend traditional marriage, and it seems that it was very important here. And the rest of the country had to suffer the consequences of that, including residents of large urban centres in Western Canada.

Misfit wrote:
Quit imagining us asking you for national funding for rural Saskatchewan transportation.  We know that money travels from the west to the east and not the other way around so please stop. We know better.

Then residents of rural communities need to wake up and understand the economic factors at play, that the "nice" businessmen in their communities are "nice" because being "nice" is how they make money, and to stop blaming gays, people of colour, First Nations, people born in other countries, people who speak a first language other than English, or people who do not subscribe to a particular fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible for their problems.

Sean in Ottawa

Misfit wrote:

But without your eastern funding for interprovincial transportation, how do low income Canadians travel from Toronto or Ottawa to Vancouver to visit family? The bus system let eastern Canadians from Ottawa travel west.

and as for people voting in the Saskatchewan Party, I don’t think that most Canadians have the sophistication or awareness to really know that a right-wing government is going to dismantle or privatize their public services. You know the difference and I know that this is what right-wing governments do but I do not think that the majority of Canadians are that ideologically sophisticated to know any better. Many right-wingers are aware but the majority of Canadians are just plain ignorant when it comes to matters of the state.

I disagree if you want to claim that voters are so ignorant as to be unaware of this totally predictable trait in every single Conservative government that gets elected in Canada ever.

I also do not want to play games with you about what the average Canadian knows. You are right a majority don't know. Let's start by taking non voters and adding them to those who are not eligble to vote and there you will get your majority. As for a majority of those who go out and vote Conservative I call bullshit.

Sean in Ottawa

@Misfit - I won't play with your bullshit Western alienation silencing tactic here. I have writte a great deal about where the West has been shortchanged and I am aware of it. It does not mean that any Western person can come to the board and shut me up becuase they know I am not from the West.

Ridiculous if you think that there would be no complaint from the Sask government were the federal government to use spending power to get into the business of local bus service between Saskatchewan cities. Your what-aboutism is duly noted though.

Sean in Ottawa

BTW another point: You want to know about people who invented medicare and were on the left in rural Saskatchewan -- we can talk about them here. Many left your province and now live here.

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
Since Blakeney on, the Saskatchewan NDP has not been a rural party. They have catered to the urban vote and trashed the rural areas for years. Purple gas, the school taxation plan, the cutting of agricultural programs etc. The NDP is not a farmers party at all. Now the majority of seats are rural and they don’t stand a chance of forming government.

The Saskatchewan NDP had quite a great deal of support in rural areas in the 1971, 1991, and 1995 general elections.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Misfit wrote:
Since Blakeney on, the Saskatchewan NDP has not been a rural party. They have catered to the urban vote and trashed the rural areas for years. Purple gas, the school taxation plan, the cutting of agricultural programs etc. The NDP is not a farmers party at all. Now the majority of seats are rural and they don’t stand a chance of forming government.

The Saskatchewan NDP had quite a great deal of support in rural areas in the 1971, 1991, and 1995 general elections.

Indeed, that is the vote that deserted the NDP and is keeping the SP in power -- correct?

 

All this said a real national transportation policy that does assert a right to transit and the ability to live without a car would be an excellent national policy. An investment in the infrastructure of electric self driving vehicles and technology and funding to make sure that al parts of Canada are covered. This would certainly help with climate change.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

First off - Wait, rural conservatives are voting against their own interests for ideological reasons??? Say it ain’t so. Ow, damn, rolled my eyes so hard I’ve got a brain sprain...

Leaving the sarcasm aside, this is a normal thing for the row prairies. They routinely will vote in the conservatives for ideological reasons and then wonder why the conservative government that they voted for overwhelmingly takes away things that they really shouldn’t. Why do they do this? I have no idea. There is simply no rational reason for them to do this.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the left in Saskatchewan  has died out in a lot of real places. Part of the reason is that the generation that brought us Medicare and cooperatives and so many other socialist institutions has largely died out. Their children have been largely comfortable ever cents and don’t see the need for those structures anymore and quite the same way that their parents and grandparents did. The demographics have simply changed. There are times that I really mourn for the Saskatchewan that I grew up in and for the people on the left that were Huge influence is for me but the fact is that it’s changed and it’s not going back anytime soon.

Sean in Ottawa

Timebandit wrote:

First off - Wait, rural conservatives are voting against their own interests for ideological reasons??? Say it ain’t so. Ow, damn, rolled my eyes so hard I’ve got a brain sprain...

Leaving the sarcasm aside, this is a normal thing for the row prairies. They routinely will vote in the conservatives for ideological reasons and then wonder why the conservative government that they voted for overwhelmingly takes away things that they really shouldn’t. Why do they do this? I have no idea. There is simply no rational reason for them to do this.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the left in Saskatchewan  has died out in a lot of real places. Part of the reason is that the generation that brought us Medicare and cooperatives and so many other socialist institutions has largely died out. Their children have been largely comfortable ever cents and don’t see the need for those structures anymore and quite the same way that their parents and grandparents did. The demographics have simply changed. There are times that I really mourn for the Saskatchewan that I grew up in and for the people on the left that were Huge influence is for me but the fact is that it’s changed and it’s not going back anytime soon.

I was not joking when I said they are here. Many people on the left in Saskatchewan simply left the province. During the period since medicare there were two trends:

1) Sask losing people

2) Urbanization, with the rural areas losing people

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Yes. And the current SK government is bent on purging anyone who tends left even more vigorously. When they canceled the motion picture production incentive, it was baldly stated that they wouldn’t miss us as we never vote for them anyway. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

In 1971, they voted out the Liberals and voted for Allen Blakeney.

in 1991, they voted out Grant Devine who nearly bankrupted the province and ruined the PC name for good so that they had to rename themselves the Saskatchewan Party.

1995, Roy Romanov had implemented drastic cuts to try to turn our debt situation down and moved us from horrible credit rating to a stable one. 

After that the NDP has been doomed in rural areas. The school tax was a big sore spot for rural Saskatchewan that eventually got them turfed for good.

and yes I too mourn for the old Saskatchewan.

Sean, I do not appreciate you saying that people voted to have these programs turfed. And I do not appreciate you suggesting that Saskatchewan is asking for handouts from you. None of this is true.

Sean in Ottawa

Misfit wrote:

In 1971, they voted out the Liberals and voted for Allen Blakeney.

in 1991, they voted out Grant Devine who nearly bankrupted the province and ruined the PC name for good so that they had to rename themselves the Saskatchewan Party.

1995, Roy Romanov had implemented drastic cuts to try to turn our debt situation down and moved us from horrible credit rating to a stable one. 

After that the NDP has been doomed in rural areas. The school tax was a big sore spot for rural Saskatchewan that eventually got them turfed for good.

and yes I too mourn for the old Saskatchewan.

Sean, I do not appreciate you saying that people voted to have these programs turfed. And I do not appreciate you suggesting that Saskatchewan is asking for handouts from you. None of this is true.

You are really interpretting this to the extreme:

1) I am saying that they voted conservative and I do not buy the suggestions that they did not know what conservatives do and that this is typical of what Conservatives do. We can agree to disagree but what I am saying is not all that controversial.

2) I have said that the federal government should not step in in this case in this way. I outlined how they could in another context. If you disagree with that then you are asking that Canada do something -- if you are not argueing for that then we are in agreement -- I do not get your suggestions. Certainly I never personalized this to me so you are off on a tangent there.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Misfit, a lot of people did vote conservative knowing what they proposed to do and continued in support of those cuts. It wasn’t everyone, but it was a significant number. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..in the last mb election a conservative knocked on my door. i told him i would not vote for him because conservatives are going to make cuts. he responded by saying that was just made up lies by the ndp and they weren't going to do that. so they got in and the cuts began.

..i understand what misfit is saying. people were voting for the cons because they were pissed at the ndp not because the wanted cuts. an aspect of elections is that they are a big lie. smoke and mirrors. it a kind of manufacturing consent thing going on.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

You also had an episode of epic self-destruction by the SKNDP in Saskatchewan in 2009-2011, which it still hasn’t recovered from. That left very little viable opposition to a number of cuts in a lot of areas, where in the SP’s first term there was at least some opposition. After the 2011 election they had a massive majority and could do things with impunity - and have. 

JKR

Has Saskatchewan become the second most righty-wing province in Canada after Alberta?

Aristotleded24

Timebandit wrote:
Misfit, a lot of people did vote conservative knowing what they proposed to do and continued in support of those cuts. It wasn’t everyone, but it was a significant number.

Or they voted conservative because they fel it very important to retain the definition of marriage between a man and a woman and that public policy be guided by a certain interpretation of what the Bible says.

JKR

Maybe many vote for the SP because they feel the SNDP has become too aligned with outlooks held in areas like urban- Canada and Central Canada?

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I think SK is more right wing than Alberta right now. Certainly as much. 

A24, combination of that factor and an attitude of “why should I have to subsidize poor people with my tax dollars”. Among others. It’s basically “I’ve got mine, Jack, and I don’t give a shit about yours” with the rural middle class and wealthy. And there are a LOT more wealthy farmers now than 40 years ago. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while in mb the blame for the cuts is the cons the ndp has to shoulder a large portion as well. close to 50% as i see it. they played power politics within the party taking for granted the population that had given it plenty of warnings and chances. it's disgusting that they forced the population to go tory. this is a pattern that plays out over and over in the ndp and they don't seem to learn any lessens from the disaster that results from it.

..the problem isn't because of the population voting the wrong way it's the corruption of the electoral system. there are 3 main parties not counting the greens that give support to the rich and powerful that are destroying us. except for a few inadequate reforms offered there is nothing to balance that support outside the struggles taking place within the populations.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In the BC Liberals we had the sweetest smiling neocons, who I would argue were every bit as right wing as the neocons in the Sask Party or the Man Conservative Party. Its not in the name its in the ideology.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

For sure. The Sask Party was made up of former Liberals who screwed over the party rather than be led by a woman (Lynda Haverstock) and Progressive Conservatives who managed to avoid prosecution. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i can very much relate to the french yellow vest. in fact i envy it.

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..i can very much relate to the french yellow vest. in fact i envy it.

Unfortunately co-opted completely by the right here - but I understand

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

..i can very much relate to the french yellow vest. in fact i envy it.

Unfortunately co-opted completely by the right here - but I understand

..saw 3 of those coopted fools standing on a corner saturday waving canadian flags and holding signs. i could only read "no trudeau" as i passed by. couldn't make out the rest.

Aristotleded24

To move the thread back to its intended topic:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I will make another transit observation that Greyhound may be thinking about and people here may not. There is a technological revolution happening.

Presently we only have larger, mass, labour intensive public transit or private cars by those able to afford to own and have the ability to operate them. We all know this dichotomy is ending.

What will replace it is a transit method where you can use a car, without a driver and without knowing how to or being able to drive. This will change private transport radically meaning many people will retain private transit when they would have been forced onto public transit.

This will change public transit: first it will remove ridership of the people that will be able to retain private transit and they will not longer pay into the system or be users of larger means of transport like buses. Second public transit will have the option to use on demand dispatch of smaller vehicles to adapt imediately to demand. All these vehicles will operate independently of direct labour. Instead, there will be labour to operate the system remotely and only arrive to deal with problems. This means instead of running large buses to 2 am in the city they might send a car and the route won't go around the city but address where the people want to go. For the rural communities regional parking lots of autonomous cars, van and buses, can be parked around the province and as demand arrives they will start up and go to where needed - and cruacially when they leave their passangers can return or go to the next one without a driver. This will cost a fraction of what any system does now. The flexibility is light years ahead of what there is now.

Seeing this writing on the wall, large companies may now see the technology and realize that there is no point investing in a system using drivers and gas vehicles knowing the entire system is going.

If you believe that public transit is a right -- as I do -- instead of investing just in a place where the majority do not want the service and demand is too low do something bolder. Call for a Canada-wide network to be built as soon as possible of integrated, on demand, size and place apporpirate, autonomous vehicles running on renewable electricity. The government could draw in its best companies and invest billions. The reuslt would be worth it, sustainable economically and environmentally and extremely progressive. It would transform rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

Then we are talking.

There is a very good reason to question these technological advancements and whether or not they are helpful. I've already stated in other places that there are many environmental problems with private vehicle ownership, and changing to electric cars only solves the carbon dioxide problem while introducing environmental problems of heavy metals. There's another concern with self-driving cars. One of the arguments that people use in favour of public transit is that it benefits people with disabilities and helps them to move around. If self-driving cars become a thing, then you have negated a key argument for providing public transit. Why spend money on public transit for disabled people when they can have more freedom by getting a car? (Neglected is the class issues and poverty that people with disabilities often face, which could also cause them problems in that regard.)

One of the key arguments for public transit is that the environmental impact of public transit is far less than accomodating private transportation for individuals. So to use your parking lot example, those lots are taking up valuable land that can provide housing, habitat to animal species, and plants and wetlands that can soak up excess carbon and turn the trend of increasing carbon concentration in the opposite direction. Does that mean that private automobiles are going to go away any time soon? No, but we need to start having a conversation about making that sacrifice and providing alternatives. For example, car sharing is growing in popularity. That allows people the freedom to drive when they have to while otherwise not having the hassle of owning a car. This is but one example of where we need to go.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

To move the thread back to its intended topic:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
I will make another transit observation that Greyhound may be thinking about and people here may not. There is a technological revolution happening.

Presently we only have larger, mass, labour intensive public transit or private cars by those able to afford to own and have the ability to operate them. We all know this dichotomy is ending.

What will replace it is a transit method where you can use a car, without a driver and without knowing how to or being able to drive. This will change private transport radically meaning many people will retain private transit when they would have been forced onto public transit.

This will change public transit: first it will remove ridership of the people that will be able to retain private transit and they will not longer pay into the system or be users of larger means of transport like buses. Second public transit will have the option to use on demand dispatch of smaller vehicles to adapt imediately to demand. All these vehicles will operate independently of direct labour. Instead, there will be labour to operate the system remotely and only arrive to deal with problems. This means instead of running large buses to 2 am in the city they might send a car and the route won't go around the city but address where the people want to go. For the rural communities regional parking lots of autonomous cars, van and buses, can be parked around the province and as demand arrives they will start up and go to where needed - and cruacially when they leave their passangers can return or go to the next one without a driver. This will cost a fraction of what any system does now. The flexibility is light years ahead of what there is now.

Seeing this writing on the wall, large companies may now see the technology and realize that there is no point investing in a system using drivers and gas vehicles knowing the entire system is going.

If you believe that public transit is a right -- as I do -- instead of investing just in a place where the majority do not want the service and demand is too low do something bolder. Call for a Canada-wide network to be built as soon as possible of integrated, on demand, size and place apporpirate, autonomous vehicles running on renewable electricity. The government could draw in its best companies and invest billions. The reuslt would be worth it, sustainable economically and environmentally and extremely progressive. It would transform rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

Then we are talking.

There is a very good reason to question these technological advancements and whether or not they are helpful. I've already stated in other places that there are many environmental problems with private vehicle ownership, and changing to electric cars only solves the carbon dioxide problem while introducing environmental problems of heavy metals. There's another concern with self-driving cars. One of the arguments that people use in favour of public transit is that it benefits people with disabilities and helps them to move around. If self-driving cars become a thing, then you have negated a key argument for providing public transit. Why spend money on public transit for disabled people when they can have more freedom by getting a car? (Neglected is the class issues and poverty that people with disabilities often face, which could also cause them problems in that regard.)

One of the key arguments for public transit is that the environmental impact of public transit is far less than accomodating private transportation for individuals. So to use your parking lot example, those lots are taking up valuable land that can provide housing, habitat to animal species, and plants and wetlands that can soak up excess carbon and turn the trend of increasing carbon concentration in the opposite direction. Does that mean that private automobiles are going to go away any time soon? No, but we need to start having a conversation about making that sacrifice and providing alternatives. For example, car sharing is growing in popularity. That allows people the freedom to drive when they have to while otherwise not having the hassle of owning a car. This is but one example of where we need to go.

I don't understand the point being made here:

Ont he one hand you argue for car sharing -- this means the people would need to drive and then somehow return the car for the next person. Autonomous driving allows the car to return itself. How can car sharing do anything other than reduce demand for public transit while still offering a more expensive option than autonomous car hire and one that offers nothing to disabled people. With a fleet of autonomous cars you can share one car among many people becuase it can go to the next person. Car sharing means having to keep more cars close by. Car sharing does not plug in to public transit but autonomous cars could provide a local feeder sysem to a backbone like rail.

 

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