Thursday, January 26, 2006

Traffic Gridlock Costs Billions

According to a new Transport Canada study, [gridlock] costs the Canadian economy $6 billion a year, with the G.T.A. absorbing some $2 billion of that tab.

So why do people oppose putting more into public transit? I just don't get it.
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Topic: Urban Issues


Zafrod said...

Not sure what the reason up north is, RJ, but down here, we can't get public transport because the choice was made back in the middle of the last century to invest in the highway system and make people dependant on their own vehicles. It's ingrained now... only people in the largest cities see the value in public transportation. Frankly, I would love to see real public transportation take hold, but I don't expect to see it in my lifetime. We can barely keep the trains running as is.

Red Jenny said...

Much of Canada is the same. Somehow driving in a car is equated with freedom. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

You might be surprised to hear it, but Honolulu just recently passed a bill to build a public rail system in the city. Unfortuneately, they raised the extremely regressive State General Excise tax to do it (Hawaii doesn't have a "sales" tax. Here, we have an "excise" tax--which is on ALL transactions (incl. labor, services, and worst of all...medical care, food, drugs and rent)--and it is on the gross [you pay the tax on the tax itself as well as the principal]. So you can see how it hits you harder, the lower your income level gets--especially since it's a flat rate for all. --Not much more progressive than a head tax really).

But we are going to get a much needed rail system...which I support. We have really bad traffic problems on Oahu. BTW...we already have one of the very best Bus-systems in the U.S. Very comprehensive (on the island of Oahu only--Honolulu county).


P.S. You don't mind my posting a comment now and you? It's just a nice change to see a few things on the liberal side after the constant bombast from the right for so many years.

Anonymous said...

Low density developments are hell for public transportation.. costwise anyhow. I also suppose no politician wants a bus named after him/herself.. only a train station.. maybe. But an Airport or a highway? Thats key!

Zafrod said...

Low density development and public transportation don't go together, sure, but really, the only places in the US that have truly viable public transportation are the very highest density areas. There's a whole lot of middle ground that isn't covered because it's seen as bad investment, which it currently is. If you just bought yourself a brand new SUV, you're not going to let it rust in the driveway while you take the bus to work. The thing is, the cost of using well-designed public transportation is far less than the cost of maintaining even one vehicle, even more drastically so if the vehicle is owned by me. If you could really get people to believe this, you might be able to start making headway, but it'd be slow.

Red Jenny said...

It disturbs me that people are still building their nasty mcMansions out in the 'burbs, despite the increasing cost of oil. It is irresponsible to say the least, with ridiculous infrastructure and transportation costs. And most people end up living just as close to their neighbours as they would in the city!

If you are interested in an alternative, read up on the carfree movement - it is certainly viable, and to urban folk like me, describes a very livable city.