Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for April 2nd, 2015

The Economist chips in

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Our strange way of finding out if we really should be collecting more tax to pay for transit expansion reaches the hallowed pages of the Economist . I would post a link but it points to a paywalled article which quotes Todd Litman. He, of course, makes his research freely available on his web site.”Twelve Reasons to Support Vancouver’s Transportation Tax” was published on 28 March 2015 and is a thorough piece of work, all properly referenced of course. You can download the entire fourteen page document as a pdf.

Key findings

Vancouver households spend less on transport than any major Canadian city except Montreal and Winnipeg, and the smallest portion of all cities. Vancouver households save about $800 annually compared with the national average.

Vancouver households spend a smaller portion of their budget on transport than in any other major Canadian city

The Vancouver region has 3.9 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents, one of the lowest among North American cities.

As Heeney and Yan (2015) explain, “One in five, or 20% of all Metro Vancouver workers take public transit to work, well above the Canadian average of 13%. This is light years ahead of every metropolitan region on the Pacific Coast from Seattle (8%) to Portland (7%) to San Francisco (15%) to Los Angeles (6%) to San Diego (3%). Calgary, by the way, is 16%. If we were to slip to Calgary levels, Metro Vancouver would need to accommodate another 117,000 drivers on the road – imagine the new roads and bridges we would need for that!”

Greater Vancouver has about average costs per passenger kilometers for Canadian cities, and much lower costs than peer cities in other countries

The Vancouver region’s subsidy per transit passenger kilometer is about average for Canadian cities and much lower than peer cities in other countries.

The Vancouver region’s farebox recovery rate is about average for Canadian cities, and much better than peer U.S. cities.

Greater Vancouver has relatively high per capita transit ridership compared with peer cities.

Between 1985 and 2011, walking, cycling and public transit mode share increased by 42% [in Metro Vancouver] , indicating growing demand for these modes – residents increasingly want to use these modes but can only do so if they are convenient, comfortable and affordable.

The TransLink Efficiency Review [which so many of the NO side “experts” like to quote] compared TransLink with transit agencies with much smaller and more compact service areas, which made it look inefficient.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

Posted in Transportation