Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for September 8th, 2008

Davie Day Highlights Need for Car Free Street Trial

with 10 comments

As you probably know I do not live – and therefore vote – in the City of Vancouver. But I am very much in favour of car free streets. I administer a flickr group called “places without cars” to collect pictures from around the world of urban areas that have stopped cars coming into streets – either temporarily or permanently. And written about it here quite often.

So when three candidates for the Vancouver council election start talking about it, I am all attention. Go now to Andrea Reimer’s site and learn more. I am not going to endorse candidates but I do feel that it is time for some more progressive attitudes to be represented at City Hall. And from my experience of dealing with them (which admittedly is now getting a bit dated) the City Engineers are not exactly cutting edge on this kind of issue. Which means the new councillors – if they want to see this kind of change – are going to have to be pretty determined to stand up to groups like the very pro-car DVBIA.

And if you want a really well informed blog on the City of Vancouver election Frances Bula (formerly of the Sun) is now on the hook as well as her own blog.

And you can find pictures of Davie Day here

but here is one of them as a sample

Photo by Paul Hillsdon

Photo by Paul Hillsdon

Written by Stephen Rees

September 8, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Metro needs more taxis

with 5 comments

The Province

Metro Vancouver is getting in on the act.

a recent report by Metro Vancouver staff shows that the taxi service level in this region averages one cab per 1,523 people.

Compare that to the average of one cab for every 930 people in large North American urban centres, one cab for every 709 people in Calgary or one cab for every 540 people in Toronto.

Toronto actually tackled issue of taxi licensing head on and created a lot more of them. That is why there are now more cabs there.

Gord Robson [Mayor] of Maple Ridge, has called for a major review of Metro Vancouver’ cab industry.

That led to a decision on Friday by Metro Vancouver to initiate a study on transferring licensing jurisdiction of our cab companies from the B.C. government to TransLink.

But Translink is now directly controlled by the Province. They appoint the Board – and are qualified solely in terms of the business experience. So they are unlikely to be any more sympathetic to public concerns then the vested interests of the business people who have invested a lot of money in securing one of the currently rare licenses. And why would the province scrap the Passenger Transport Board – which it could have done when it reformed the Motor Carrier Commission. Is it really defensible that Metro Vancouver have a different system of taxi licensing than the rest of the Province? If Maple Ridge – why not Abbotsford?

If you have not been here before the subject of taxis has been covered (just click the taxi link under categories). I will be very surprised indeed if the present government listed to Metro. I would even more suprised if any new taxi controlling organisation was more responsive to public needs than entrenched, politically well connected, taxi license holders.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Posted in taxi

Tagged with