Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

It’s time to lift our heads a bit

with one comment

I have been beavering way on local and regional issues and have not been looking further afield recently. So let’s see what’s going on outside.

Our nearest Cascadian neighbour is getting ready for another round of voting on things. They seem to think that asking their citizens to approve government spending on transportation (and other) projects is a Good Idea. Odd. It never seemed to catch on here. Anyway, a group not too dissimilar to the Livable Region Coalition here, called The Washington Public Interest Research Group has released a study on the benefits of transit. “And it’s using its conclusions to help campaign for expanding light rail service beyond Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport.”

King County Metro transit saved an estimated 12.5 million gallons of oil and $32.7 million in gasoline costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 87,907 metric tons, because transit buses eliminated other vehicle trips.

Sound Transit, according to the report, saved more than 6.8 million gallons of oil and $17.9 million in gasoline costs and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions by 49,622 tons.

Community Transit in Snohomish County saved more than 1.9 million gallons of oil and $5 million in gasoline costs and reduced carbon-dioxide emissions 12,697 tons.

Pierce Transit saved more than 2.7 million gallons of oil and $7.1 million in gasoline costs and cut CO2 emissions by 4,201 tons. In amounts of oil, cost and pollution savings created, the report ranks Puget Sound’s transit systems 14th among 25 major metropolitan areas, topped by the New York-New Jersey area and with Las Vegas last.

Unfortunately they do not have a really competent web master like we do so you will have to rely on the good old PI, since the PIRG web page is out of date and does not have the report yet. Tut tut.

Meanwhile over at the centre of the known universe, federal money promised for transit expansion has yet to be sighted. Christopher Hume the Toronto Star’s columnist is getting downright snippy

Talk about gridlock. It was a year ago yesterday that the Prime Minister himself, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, stood in front of a TTC bus in Downsview and promised almost $1 billion to help fund regional transit.

Since then, nothing has happened: zilch, zero, zippo. Except for the energy spent bickering, our elected “leaders” have failed to advance the file one iota. Not a penny has flowed.

This should not be surprising; back in 2000, Ottawa promised $25 million for the revitalization of Union Station – that hasn’t been delivered, either.

Hume seems to think it is because the Tories aren’t urban – not having any seats in any of the major urban areas where 80% of Canadians live. Tough being a minority government, ain’t it?

Written by Stephen Rees

March 7, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Posted in politics, transit

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Wow! I’m so glad to hear of their successes… (To be honest I got happy goosebumps reading that.)

    No seats in any major urban areas, at all? Really? Hm. Does that suggest that most conservatives aren’t urban, either? It would seem to make sense to me 😉

    Erika Rathje

    March 9, 2008 at 9:12 pm


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