Public Transportation

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Doug Woodard

Possibly the change might be brought about by provincial co-operation and the annual licencing fee for cars. Licensing of cars to owners living in areas where there is public transit would require the owner to hold a bus pass or evidence of bicycle ownership. The change could be gradual, starting with a bus pass for one month, and increasing over time to one year. The increased revenue would enable the transit companies to increase the frequency and density of their networks. Having the pass would encouge car owners to use transit, as would better service.

Pondering

lagatta wrote:

There is no reason on earty Châteauguay https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teauguay couldn't have a proper public transport system. It is a very old town, which has suffered postwar sprawl like many other places, but it would certainly be possible to rehabilitate it and make car use absolutely superfluous for the purposes Pondering lists.

Yes, it is necessary to get rid of most private cars in places like Châteauguay.

I'm in Chateauguay every week and right now the paid internal public transit system sucks. I never use it. The bus service to Montreal and back is okay but I still have to walk 15 to 20 minutes to get to a bus stop and a good half hour between the places I have to go to within Chateauguay. I walk a preemie that distance (because the weather is so beautiful) 90% without a sidewalk. Walking that distance in poor weather will not be feasible. Chateauguay is dominated by single family homes and duplexes. Low population density means that for most people grocery stores are not within reasonable walking distance. Two car families are not unusual. If I had a car it would take me no more than 45 minutes to get to Chateauguay whereas on public transport it takes me easily 2 hours door to door. Chateauguay and Pierrefonds are a pain without a car.

I would guess that most people in Chateauguay don't want it to be rehabilitated. They chose to live there because they like having big backyards and private homes.

Maybe someday in the distant future Chateauguay will abandon cars but it's not happening any time soon and I doubt the government would agree to provide subsidized or free transit.

It isn't necessary to get rid of all cars. They don't have to burn fossil fuels. I see more and more tiny go cars around town.

http://www.stm.info/en/info/fares/special-offers/integrated-mobility

The concept of integrated mobility promotes a smart combination of individual means of transportation (walking, cycling, driving) with collective modes (bus, métro, taxi, shared taxibus, carpooling and car sharing) for your mobility needs. We’ve reached partnership agreements with various transportation providers (self-serve bike system, car sharing firms, etc.) with whom you can enjoy preferential rates.

COMBINE BUS, MÉTRO, CYCLING AND CAR SHARING
An economical, efficient and environmentally-friendly solution to your mobility needs.

There is no need to be extreme. We are living in a time of manufactured scarcity. The cost of production is disassociated from the price of goods and obsolescence is planned. 

Science is expanding our abilities faster than we can predict the future. I read an article recently about the coming obsolescence of rural farming. Highrise urban farming and meat grown without animals is coming our way faster than we may think.

For now it would be an impressive start if we just had free transit and dramatically reduced single car use in the hearts of major cities.

lagatta

I'm well aware of integrated mobility. I've read many books and documents about this and translated, edited, copy-edited some, and I've been involved in associations for improved mobility for the carfree for decades. But it means nothing unless we radically reduce the number of private cars. This has nothing to do with "scarcity"; this cancer is the result of 60 years of criminally bad planning, in the service of the petroleum, automotive and development/road-building industries. One blog calls it "Man's greatest mistake". Now war and genocide are certainly contenders for that title, but often those are far more deliberate. http://www.mansgreatestmistake.com/

http://www.mansgreatestmistake.com/the-true-cost-of-cars/are-cars-really...

I've been to Châteauguay too, but have no reason to go there every week. It is a dreadful example of criminally bad planning and development - starting out from a 300-some year old community! (Not counting Indigenous occupation and trade for thousands of years).

Lots of people where I live don't own a car. I live ten minutes' walk (and I'm not a particularly fast walker) from a métro station and perhaps 15 from three more, on two lines. A bus that passes frequently is two minutes from my house. And both bikeshare and carshare are located very close by. The problem is, people from "troisième couronne" households with three oversized death machines still drive through our neighbourhoods along the orange line to get downtown. Even if most people divested themselves of those damned things, we would still be polluted and our life and limb threatened by them.

Yesterday evening I was at a "white bike" event commemorating the life of a 27-year-old man who was killed on Saint-Denis between Jean-Talon and Bélanger due to a driver who "doored" him, opening the door in his face. In the Netherlands and Germany, drivers learn to open their car door with their right hand so that they automatically look behind. Also because there is weighted liability, a heavy truck has the most liability, a pedestrian the least. There were hundreds of people at this solemn event, mostly on bicycles. (I went there on foot, as did some other participants who live close by).

Yes, things can and must change, but while urban agriculture is important, I don't think it will ever replace rural farming. I bet if you sent in an eco-design oriented urbanist, she or he could think of many ways of densifying towns like Châteauguay and making them more suitable for public and active transport, without turning them into piles of tower blocks. Montréal is dense enough for walkability and useful public transport although most of the older neighbourhoods (not just the "downtown core") are the vernacular triplexes so emblematic of our city.

Pondering

lagatta wrote:
But it means nothing unless we radically reduce the number of private cars. 

What's wrong with cars using renewable energy?

lagatta wrote:
The problem is, people from "troisième couronne" households with three oversized death machines still drive through our neighbourhoods along the orange line to get downtown. Even if most people divested themselves of those damned things, we would still be polluted and our life and limb threatened by them. 

I'm with you there. Everytime I am crossing the street at St. Laurent and Mont Royal I feel like I am taking my life in my hands. Even when I have the walk signal cars from from behind me on St Laurant and cross inches in front of me. I literally look over my shoulder while crossing the street for fear I will be hit. It is heavenly when either Mont Royal or St Laurent is closed for the sidewalk sales.

lagatta wrote:
Yesterday evening I was at a "white bike" event commemorating the life of a 27-year-old man who was killed on Saint-Denis between Jean-Talon and Bélanger due to a driver who "doored" him, opening the door in his face.

That frightens me because my daughter rides her bike everywhere year around only relenting on the worst days in the dead of winter.

I frequently hear of pedestrian fatalities in which the driver is not faulted even though the pedestrian had the right of way. The latest is a 13 year old girl who was crossing at a pedestrian cross walk with her bicycle but the driver didn't see her. So far the driver is not being charged.

lagatta wrote:
I bet if you sent in an eco-design oriented urbanist, she or he could think of many ways of densifying towns like Châteauguay and making them more suitable for public and active transport, without turning them into piles of tower blocks. 

Over the long term I think that will happen but it will take many decades and some people will still choose to move farther out to afford a single family dwelling on a good size lot.

I have only lived in the Plateau for about a decade but I have never felt so at home in any other community. I don't want the burden of a house to look after, lawns to mow, endless maintenance. I love being able to walk everywhere to access all of my needs but I can still see the appeal of Chateauguay life.

lagatta

I think you have explained yourself why there is a problem with cars even though they are electric. And in many places other than Québec, even the source of electricity is a problem as well.

And of course the fact that one car takes up far more space per person than the same number of people walking, cycling or using public transport. The problem was not the invention of the car, a useful vehicle, but its gross (carcentric) misuse.

Brava to your daughter! On average, cycling (and walking a lot) are far more likely to increase the years of healthy life than to cut it off. Nothing more dangerous to health than doing nothing. The point is to fight for increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Pondering

lagatta wrote:

I think you have explained yourself why there is a problem with cars even though they are electric. And in many places other than Québec, even the source of electricity is a problem as well.

And of course the fact that one car takes up far more space per person than the same number of people walking, cycling or using public transport. The problem was not the invention of the car, a useful vehicle, but its gross (carcentric) misuse.

Brava to your daughter! On average, cycling (and walking a lot) are far more likely to increase the years of healthy life than to cut it off. Nothing more dangerous to health than doing nothing. The point is to fight for increased safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

You make very good points. I don't actually disagree with your vision. I just don't think enough people want it that way.

I understand the resistance to solutions that increase costs therefore taxes but when something like this, free transit, is proven to be economically beneficial it's a no brainer.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..free transit is one strategy in an overall objective. it's not only petroleum that is going to become scarce but all other natural resources as well. we really do need to change the way we live. we need a kind of de-growth/transition process.  connected to this is decison making more geared towards what is best for community via genuine participation.

..the leap is timely to this and has even become main stream in many places. yesterday i watched a video of a recent candidates debate in north van (the tories didn’t dare show up). it was amazing how much time was spent on kinder morgan. and the questions from the moderators were very pipeline/tarsand savvy. it was clear the majority of the audience were against the project. the leap is can be seen as a real alternative for those folks for sure.

mmphosis

if you want less of something, tax it; if you want more of something, subsidize it.

Green Party platform promises to expand rail, eliminate tuition (cbc.ca)

How about a free electric-powered passenger rail line from coast to coast including free electric-powered ferries?

lagatta

That is wonderful; wish we had them in Québec. I'm sending that link to Québec solidaire, as electrification of transport was a plank in our platform last time.

Can't tell you how much I'd like that train. Dunno if I'd head off first to the Maritimes or the much longer trip to BC... In terms of BC my only trip there was a fly-in, fly-out to Vancouver, to work at a conference. One sees so much more from the train. Though I hope they give us shower access for longer hauls.

In Russia, local people sell real food when the trans-Siberian stops: yoghourt, good black bread etc. (Hope that is still the case).

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..for anyone who's interested. while i don't agree with all that is being said this video does a pretty good job of listing what changes would be necessary and what the change looks like afterwards.    

Recovering from Disruption: A Comprehensive Approach to Building a Better, More Sustainable World

Watch our new film. The carfree city is the cornerstone of a sustainable future.

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
Licensing of cars to owners living in areas where there is public transit would require the owner to hold a bus pass or evidence of bicycle ownership.

My first thought is that car owners would have to spend $40 at a yard sale to buy a bike.

My second is to wonder what, specifically, would constitute "living in areas where there is public transit"?  If you live in downtown Toronto, clearly there's public transit, and maybe using it would even be reasonable.  But how far a walk to the nearest stop would constitute "there is public transit"?  What should be the maximum wait time between vehicles?  Is standing for the entire trip OK, or can we expect to actually be able to sit down, as we do in a car?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Paris’s first attempt at car-free day brings big drop in air and noise pollution

Paris’s “day without cars” last week led to such a dramatic drop in both air and noise pollution that the mayor’s office is now planning more vehicle-free days in the French capital.

Airparif, which measures city pollution levels, said levels of nitrogen dioxide dropped by up to 40% in parts of the city on Sunday 27 September.

There was almost one-third less nitrogen dioxide pollution on the busy Champs Elyées than on a similar Sunday.

Along the Seine in the city centre, levels were down by about 40%. At the busy Place de l’Opera, levels were 20% lower.

Bruitparif, which measures noise, said sound levels dropped by half in the city centre.

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