Public Transportation

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NorthReport
Public Transportation

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NorthReport

Where's the Canadian equivalent study? Is there one?

How Your City’s Public Transit Stacks Up

lagatta

I don't remember any chart exactly the same, but try this site: http://activetransportation-canada.blogspot.ca/

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

So far, I like Montreal's best.

NorthReport

One of my favourite journalists Ted Rall has a new job it seems at the LA Times.

Maybe a bullet train across Canada would be a worthwhile project.

Why you should embrace the $68-billion California bullet train project

By TED RALL  

Nations with high-speed rail have seen their economies improve as a result of drawing cities closer together

Mass transit creates economic opportunity where none previously existed

High-speed rail opponents should revel in the estimated 66,000 jobs to be created by the project

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-rall-california-bullet-t...

lagatta

Indeed. California's development is a huge tragedy; one of the most beautiful places in the Americas crisscrossed with "freeways" and most of the population dependent on private cars. (Many of the "commenters" support that deadly model).

Montrealer, in many ways we have a good system, but it has been underfunded and the projected development has not been carried out. It is ridiculous that the blue line ends at St-Michel and not at least at Pie-IX. I also think we need at least one tramline to accomodate the overflow on the orange line, which is completely saturated since the extension to Laval. I'd prioritize the current Parc - Côte-des-Neiges line. Trams are between métros and buses in terms of cost and carrying capacity, and in terms of their capacity to structure development (what the LA Times article described in terms of the NYC subway system).

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

The PQ government had announced 4 Blue Line stations connecting St. Michel to Anjou. I think those got shelved, or maybe it was a pre-election political announcement. Or a promise Couillard doesn't have to keep. 

A large number get on the orange line at Jean Talon station from St. Michel. I use the blue line to go to St. Mary's on the other side of town, and the train empties out as I get on. St. Michel (and its feeders) might be just as much of the overloading problem on the orange line as Laval.

 

iyraste1313

trying to figure out how to get a friend in Ontario back to BC.....with air fares at least double our own international fares...with train fares out of this world, with a monopoly bus system working out of Texas or Scotland...I've lost track.......maybe in the cities there is some decent mass transit...but in the rural areas, the heart of the country, where the cities depend on for its food, its resources, its economic benefits, if you're not part of the high wage resource extraction industry, they want you out!

Being an internationalist activist where I get to experience real efficient mass transit, low cost and frequent, the comparisons just drive me crazy!

NorthReport

Things that come back to haunt you.

TransLink funding woes began under NDP government, former transit leaders recall

https://www.straight.com/news/812236/translink-funding-woes-began-under-...

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

The rolling stock in that photo looks very similar to the rolling stock used by the TTC for the Scarborough RT line.   I'm not sure if it's the same stuff, but the trains used by the TTC were introduced in 1985 and are rapidly reaching their end of life.

Scarborough RT

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I think that is actually on the scarborough LRT line. The Montreal Metro cars are from the 60s and 70s and also need to be replaced.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

I was referring to the photo in "The Straight" article in the link and comparing it to the Scarborough RT photo I posted.    The rolling stock looks very similar.

jas

NorthReport wrote:

Things that come back to haunt you.

TransLink funding woes began under NDP government, former transit leaders recall

Lol.

In 14 years, no one's been able to solve the problem? 

Metro mayors powerless to cut TransLink managers' pay

TransLink salaries published. CEO Ian Jarvis made $468,015 in 2013

 

NorthReport

There is so much hostility towards unelected, unaccountable TRANSLINK I wonder if the plebisite will pass

Why West Vancouver’s mayor is voting no in the transit plebiscite

http://www.straight.com/news/813446/michael-smith-why-west-vancouvers-ma...

NorthReport
NorthReport

My hunch is the Lower Mainland's approach to this will be voted down and no wonder with a regressive tax like this.

Stockholm's Transit Expansion: Big Plans, Few Complaints

Swedes don't need plebiscite to build new subway lines.

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/02/17/Stockholm-Transit-Expansion/

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

OP-ED | The Bitter Twilight of Social Democracy: NDP, unions and enviro NGOs back transit referendum

This spring, the provincial government will be asking Metro Vancouver residents if they approve of a new TransLink funding proposal. The social democrats are coming out of the woodwork to throw their weight behind the ‘Yes’ side in the referendum, as though it were some kind of grand cause. In reality, neither a ‘yes’ vote nor a ‘no’ vote will have an impact on the political direction of transit in our region: privatization, criminalization of the poor, racial profiling, and ‘service’ geared to corporate profits rather than people’s needs.

In backing the referendum, provincial NDP, Vision Vancouver, union bureaucrats, middle class environmentalists and the Christian church establishment have also found unity with the main institutional representatives of the ruling class in BC: the Vancouver Board of Trade, the BC Chamber of Commerce, and the Building Owners and Managers Association of BC.

This unholy alliance wants us to vote to slightly increase funding for TransLink, a neoliberal institution that not only works against our interests as working class people, but has actually been on the front lines of containing, criminalizing, incarcerating and deporting the most oppressed and marginalized sectors of our class. What’s the actual political content of this proposition by the social democrats? Let’s take a look....

http://themainlander.com/2015/02/13/op-ed-the-bitter-twilight-of-social-...

NorthReport

Tranks Link themselves have killed any chance of the the referendum passing.

The timing to let their CEO go, and then keep him on at over $400,000 a year for the remainder of his term just before the referendum is like waving the red flag in front of a bull, is absolutely nuts, and is a perfect example of how Trans Link is seriously mismanaged.

Regardless of what the referendum question is, the ballot box question will be:  "Do you or do you not approve of Trans Link?"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Vancouver Transit Police end agreement with CBSA

On Friday February 20, Vancouver Transit Police announced that it will cease its agreement with the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) and end its enforcement of federal immigration law.

The termination of the agreement is a huge victory for the Transportation not Deportation campaign.

“Transit Police informed representatives of the Transportation not Deportation campaign that they will terminate their Memorandum of Understanding with CBSA, that officers must receive permission from a Watch Commander to initiate contact with CBSA, and that they will not detain people without warrants for items that are simply contravention of immigration law,” confirms Omar Chu of Transportation not Deportation in an email to rabble....

http://rabble.ca/news/2015/02/vancouver-transit-police-end-agreement-cbsa

NorthReport

epaulo13

Sounds like the stategy was well-timed.

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When this referendum goes South we can hold the appropriate folks responsible, eh! 

Not necessarily intentional, however I would hazard a guess the decision-makers rarely, if ever, actually use the public transportation system.

Why don't they let the people who use and need the system design the system? 

Was Transit Referendum Designed to Fail?

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/02/26/Transit-Referendum-Designed-to-Fail/

jas

NorthReport wrote:
Why don't they let the people who use and need the system design the system? 

Exactly what everyone was asking in the early 2000's, after a 4-month long transit strike, punishing fare hikes and service cuts (including late night service), and then millions of dollars spent adding fare capture gates to Skytrain.

Not sure whether the Bus Riders Union or Transit Users Group are functioning any more.

jas

 100 + reasons the BC Liberals must go

In February 2008, the public learned that Campbell’s [new] TransLink board voted themselves a 500% pay raise. Only a few weeks later, the premier’s BC Ferries directors received an increase of up to 60 percent — on April 1, 2008 – the same day ferry fares were increased for British Columbians.

At the time of the BC Liberal restructuring of the Translink board, Kevin Falcon was quoted as saying that the old board had no "skill-set to understand major, multi-billion projects." That's a frequent Socred/neocon justification for inflating salaries so as to "attract the brightest and the best". So, what have Falcon's "brightest and best" accomplished in their 7+ years? And what happened to Translink's $1.5 billion real estate empire?

 

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I have seen both Jack Layton and Bob Rae on the Toronto subway :)

lagatta

I've often seen my local "élu(e)s" on public transport here - on the métro and buses. On bicycles too.

Pondering

jas wrote:

 100 + reasons the BC Liberals must go

In February 2008, the public learned that Campbell’s [new] TransLink board voted themselves a 500% pay raise. Only a few weeks later, the premier’s BC Ferries directors received an increase of up to 60 percent — on April 1, 2008 – the same day ferry fares were increased for British Columbians.

At the time of the BC Liberal restructuring of the Translink board, Kevin Falcon was quoted as saying that the old board had no "skill-set to understand major, multi-billion projects." That's a frequent Socred/neocon justification for inflating salaries so as to "attract the brightest and the best". So, what have Falcon's "brightest and best" accomplished in their 7+ years? And what happened to Translink's $1.5 billion real estate empire?

The problem isn't the BC Liberals. The problem is that somehow people remain convinced that neoliberal policies are best for the economy and that we can't afford public services when the opposite is true. 

Progressives need to focus on the economic benefits of efficient affordable public transit.

The right has focused on government "not being able to afford" projects to justify privatization.

The left has to focus on government "can't afford privatization" of public services and must provide them to sustain the economy.

jas

Yes, Pondering, we do need to lift the veil around this false notion of austerity. But, in this case, the BC Liberals really are a big part of the problem, quite apart from the globalized fake austerity movement. The BC Liberals are a big part of so much of what is going wrong in BC right now.

If you're worried that they reflect poorly on the federal party, I don't blame you, except that they have no formal connection with the federal Liberals. They are ideologically aligned with the Conservatives and Thatcherism and the former BC Socred party. If I were a member of the federal Liberals, I would urge them to seek legal sanction against the BC Liberals using the Liberal name and brand.

tducey1

Be good if public transit was a key priority for all governments going forward.

Pondering

jas wrote:

Yes, Pondering, we do need to lift the veil around this false notion of austerity. But, in this case, the BC Liberals really are a big part of the problem, quite apart from the globalized fake austerity movement. The BC Liberals are a big part of so much of what is going wrong in BC right now.

If you're worried that they reflect poorly on the federal party, I don't blame you, except that they have no formal connection with the federal Liberals. They are ideologically aligned with the Conservatives and Thatcherism and the former BC Socred party. If I were a member of the federal Liberals, I would urge them to seek legal sanction against the BC Liberals using the Liberal name and brand.

I don't care about the BC Liberals. I wasn't defending them. I was alluding more to the notion that defeating a particular political party will make a significant difference. There is a common cannon of assumptions sold by neoliberalism that is taken as fact or common sense that lead to a misunderstanding of how a modern country operates.

For example, it is common knowledge that government debt is bad and we must get rid of deficits as a primary goal. We must use P3s because we can't afford to add to the debt. Any argument presented for any sort of increased government spending is automatically unrealistic or foolhardy because we can't afford to pay for what we have now and there are so many needs.

I don't agree with that thinking but it is very difficult to defeat when people are so sure they get what the score really is and you are a social justice type wanting to spend money we don't have. You can totally convince them you are right on issue X, then walk away and they think "nice people but they just don't get we can't afford what they want".

As to their connection to the Federal Liberals, I am sad to say while they may not be as bad their economic team is leaning pretty hard right. Arguments for social supports will be based on economics. I await their platform to see how they intend to address poverty.

 

 

 

 

lagatta

The Québec Liberals are pretty damned "Neoliberal" as well".

Pondering

montrealer58 wrote:

It is incorrect that government debt is bad. In terms of being an investment, government debt is a high-quality instrument.

This is true. Now all you have to do is convince everyone else. So far that has not been working as quickly as one might hope.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

It is incorrect that government debt is bad. In terms of being an investment, government debt is a high-quality instrument. Government debt can be structured so there are no interest payments, as the US has started to do. When the bond expires, you simply reissue it in the new denomination. If you want liquidity from a bond portfolio you sell them on the open market for cash.

"Balancing the budget" is austerity dogma in a time when we are facing huge labour deflationary forces from all around the world. We need to be issuing as much debt and currency as we can during these times. They would rather buy our sovereign debt and currencies than shitty oil company shares which cut their dividends. Canada is in very good shape in this respect. Our dollar is the fourth largest reserve currency in the world. This gives us huge borrowing power we have hardly touched.

Insisting on balancing the budget gives what we saw from Paul Martin, and what we saw and see from Charest-Marois-Couillard. Balanced budgets, what Liberals are famous for, are exactly what we are afraid of on the left. You cannot possibly call yourself progressive and sing the praises of the Axe.

Issuing debt is a much better solution than PPP deals for infrastructure projects. If we can borrow money at virtually zero interest rates, we should heed that call. A $150 billion national energy/infrastructure program would make a serious dent in our infrastructure deficit and increase economic efficiency.

This debt never has to be paid back, and the world doesn't want us to pay it back. Austerity and balanced budgets maintain a "hard currency" which is good for people hoarding money off shore. Several Canadian banks have branches in the various offshore jurisdictions in the Carribbean, such as Barbados, home of Canada Steamship Lines. You can even get Canadian dollar accounts there.

We need to stop running Canada for the benefit of shipping company owners, and start running it for the benefit of its people.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

I don't have to convince anyone. The price of the bonds (and the interest rate) speaks for itself.

Mr. Magoo

Does this vary by government?  I'm trying to choose between Venezuelan bonds, Greek bonds and Canadian bonds.

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

The price of the bond and the interest rate are going to be a sign of the risk. Some countries have a track record for defaulting, which pushes up the demand for our debt even further.

Banks are forced to buy this debt as part of their capital fractional reserves, so the more debt we have out there, the more they can loan. We should structure it so "interest on the debt" no longer comes up in government accounts, and the bonds are rolled over at maturity.

It would not be wise for a family to run its affairs this way, but a sovereign government with fiscal seigneurage such as Canada literally has a license to print money. What may be prudent as a family may be the exact opposite to what a government should do.

Mr. Magoo

OK.  You had me at "seigneurage".

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

Attractiveness as a currency for reserves in foreign central banks.

NorthReport

This organization is the future for some folks, and if it is not connected up with the public transportation it should be. Uber on the other hand, needs to run out of town. Seriously.

Car2Go

https://www.car2go.com/en/vancouver/

NorthReport

Is Bateman the new Stephen Harper?

What Drives TransLink's Biggest Hater?

Insights into Jordan Bateman, the meme maker opposed to the transit tax hike.

 

http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/03/09/TransLink-Biggest-Hater/

NorthReport

This is setup pure and simple by the BC Liberals and it is working like a charm for them, being aided and abetted by our more than useless mainstream press.

Transit referendum: It could be about something much bigger than a tax increase

The yes side knows it's up against something loud and focused that has struck a nerve

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/transit-referendum-it-cou...

NorthReport

Stephen Harper and the no voters in the upcoming transit plebiscite

http://www.straight.com/news/409661/stephen-harper-and-no-voters-upcomin...

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

If you want a NO, hold a referendum. If you want a YES, PASS A LAW!

Mr. Magoo

Isn't that pretty much saying that if representatives know the electorate doesn't want them to do something, they should go ahead and do that something?

Isn't that pretty much the opposite of representation?

Mr. Magoo

Oops.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Yes we need better transit, so why are anti-taxxers winning referendum debate?

Derrick O'Keefe

The Metro Vancouver transit referendum begins this month. Despite a long campaign supported by the vast majority of mayors and political parties in the region, the ‘No’ side is leading in the polls.

Why can’t the ‘Yes’ side seem to galvanize public opinion for a mere 0.5 per cent increase in the provincial sales tax to fund transit infrastructure?...

http://thelasource.com/en/2015/03/09/yes-we-need-better-transit-so-why-a...

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Why can’t the ‘Yes’ side seem to galvanize public opinion for a mere 0.5 per cent increase in the provincial sales tax to fund transit infrastructure?...

Why, if the fares go up by $0.05, do regular transit riders and transit advocates totally lose their shit, like the fare just doubled?

If the people who regularly use the service, and who directly and clearly benefit from the service, don't care to pay an extra nickel per ride to support the service, is it all that hard to imagine why people who don't use the service and who don't directly benefit from it might not want to pay an extra half percent on every purchase they make in order to support the service?

I ask this, by the way, as someone who's never had a driver's licence, and who uses transit.

I just find it funny that the people who don't use it and don't want to pay more for it are cheap-ass, miserable pricks, but the people who DO use it and don't want to pay for it are justifiably outraged over that nickel.

Quote:
Another reason the ‘Yes’ campaign has struggled is Translink’s richly deserved bad reputation.

Here in Ontario we have our own ORNGE air ambulance service, and eHealth Ontario for similar examples.  If you held a referendum proposing to increase sales tax to help fund either, it would probably tank, and for similar reasons. 

Saying "Oh, sorry, but we mismanaged the funds you already gave us so we'll need you to cough up more funds" loses its charm.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Why, if the fares go up by $0.05, do regular transit riders and transit advocates totally lose their shit, like the fare just doubled?

..if this is a reality it's sure not here in bc.

Mr. Magoo

Did I get the number of nickels wrong?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..it's a .5% rise in sales tax

Mr. Magoo

Okay.  So if a family who doesn't use transit spends $20K a year on whatever, that would work out to $100 in new tax per year.

If a person uses (and enjoys the benefits of) transit every working day, a nickel would be $2 per month, or $24 in new cost per year.

If the fare were to go by to a dime, that would be $48 per year.

But let's not forget, we're talking about people who use transit and will enjoy the service increase paying for it versus those who don't use the service paying for it.

Here in Toronto, the cost of a TTC token just went up a dime.  Is it really more reasonable to expect someone else to pay that dime for me -- when I'm the direct recipient of the service and they aren't -- than it is to pay it myself?

And to be clear, I'm not arguing against the tax increase, and certainly not against the planned service improvements.  I just don't think it makes common sense to portray anyone who opposes this as some kind of Mean Mister Mustard.  Particularly if transit is already well funded through things like gasoline tax, but just can't seem to manage the funds they've got.

At what point should anyone be able to say that $16 glasses of orange juice aren't how they'd like to see their tax dollars spent??

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'm not sure what your talking about. the .5% sales tax vote is for transit expansion. this has nothing to do with fares. fares are a seperate issue and even that is not the only issue here. it's the direction transit is moving in. if your interested here's a piece on it.

http://themainlander.com/2015/02/13/op-ed-the-bitter-twilight-of-social-...

montrealer58 montrealer58's picture

We elect government to do a job, including building transit. Holding a referedum should be about serious issues like how we vote, and not the purview of the transportation ministry.

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