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Guest Post: Todd Litman’s VTPI News

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There has not been very much recently on this blog other than photo challenges and the like. That is because I had the feeling that much of what I was now writing was simply repeating what I had already written. It is bad enough boring yourself, but you should never bore your audience. Todd makes his living writing and talking about transportation policy – and he is never boring. He produces a regular email newsletter and in that states “please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.” So this is what I am doing.

Everything below the line is simply cut and pasted from his email except for his snail mail address and telephone numbers.


 

 

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                 VTPI NEWS

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              Victoria Transport Policy Institute

“Efficiency – Equity – Clarity”

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Fall 2017    Vol. 17, No. 4

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The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation problems. The VTPI website (www.vtpi.org ) has many resources addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also provides consulting services.

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NEW VTPI REPORTS

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Evaluating Public Transit Criticism: Systematic Analysis of Political Attacks on High Quality Transit and How Transportation Professionals Can Effectively Respond” (http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf ). High quality public transit, such as urban rail and Bus Rapid Transit, and Transit Oriented Development (TOD), can provide many benefits, including direct benefits to users and indirect benefits to other members of society. There is evidence of growing consumer demand for these options. As a result, many communities are investing significant resources to improve transit services and encourage TOD. A small but vocal group of critics attack these efforts. Critics argue that transit service improvements attract few riders, provide few benefits, are not cost effective, and are unfair to low-income residents and motorists. This report systematically evaluates these claims. Many of the critics’ arguments are based on inaccurate, incomplete or biased information. This report describes appropriate responses to inaccurate criticisms. This should be of interest to transportation professionals, public transit advocates, and anybody interested in determining optimal investments in transit service improvements and TOD.

 

A New Traffic Safety Paradigm” (http://www.vtpi.org/ntsp.pdf ). Despite decades of effort to increase traffic safety, motor vehicle accidents continue to impose high costs, particularly in the U.S. New strategies are needed to achieve ambitious traffic safety targets such as Vision Zero. Recent research improves our understanding of how transportation and land use factors affect traffic risks, and therefore how transport and development policy decisions can help increase safety. Applying this knowledge requires a paradigm shift: The current paradigm favors targeted safety programs that reduce special risks such as youth, senior and impaired driving, a new paradigm recognizes that all vehicle travel imposes risks, and so supports vehicle travel reduction strategies such as more multi-modal planning, efficient transport pricing, Smart Growth development policies, and other TDM strategies.

 

Greenhouse Gas Reductions and Implementation Possibilities for Pay-to-save Transportation Price-shifting Strategies” (www.vtpi.org/G&E_GHG.pdf and www.vtpi.org/Greenberg&Evans_GHG_Policies.pdf ), by Allen Greenberg and John (Jay) Evans. This report and presentation estimate the GHG emissions reductions that could be achieved by a bundle of price-shifting policies (no net increase in consumer costs), including pay-as-you-drive-and-you-save (PAYDAYS) car insurance, parking cash-out, and the conversion of new vehicle sales taxes to mileage taxes designed to raise equivalent revenue. These policies could be implemented by federal or state legislation or regulation. The analysis indicates that this package could reduce over two-thirds of the emission reductions provided by the EPA’s current Clean Power Plan Rule, and far more than the emissions reductions by a $50 per ton CO2e surcharge on transportation fuels.

 

Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance in BC – Backgrounder” (http://vtpi.org/PAYD%20in%20BC%20Backgrounder.pdf ). ‘Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) insurance is the best transportation policy reform you’ve probably never heard of.’ This short report describes why and how to implement PAYD insurance pricing for affordability, safety and emission reduction’s sake. This is a timely issue. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has applied for a 6.4% vehicle insurance rate increase (http://bit.ly/2BGVH4L ). As an intervener status, Todd Litman can request information and provide testimony concerning how vehicle travel affects crash rates, and therefore the actuarial justification for PAYD pricing.

 

Reforming Municipal Parking Policies to Align With Strategic Community Goals” (http://www.vtpi.org/vpr.pdf ). The City of Victoria is currently engaged in a parking policy review which proposes reducing some off-street parking requirements. These changes are good, but modest. This short report identifies much bolder reforms that would better align parking policies with other community goals. Although written for Victoria, the analysis and recommendations are appropriate for most municipalities.

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PUBLISHED & PRESENTED ELSEWHERE

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Public Transportation’s Impact on Rural and Small Towns: A Vital Mobility Link” (www.trb.org/main/blurbs/176733.aspx). This report by Todd Litman for the American Public Transportation Association describes the important roles that public transit plays in small towns and rural communities, current trends that are increasing these demands, examples of rural community public transport programs, and responses to common rural transit myths. Public transportation helps rural communities become more efficient and equitable by ensuring that all residents, including non-drivers, enjoy independent mobility and receive a fair share of public spending on transportation facilities and services. Although public transit serves only a minor portion of total rural travel, many of those trips are crucial, including access to healthcare, basic shopping, employment and education. Current demographic and economic trends are increasing demands for affordable mobility options in rural communities, including ageing population, high poverty rates and a large portion of military veterans. Serving these demands can provide multiple benefits, but many of these benefits tend to be overlooked or undervalued in formal transportation planning.

 

Grounding Urban Walking and Cycling Research in a Political Economy Framework,‘ by

Meleckidzedeck Khayesi, Todd Litman, Eduardo Vasconcellos and Winnie Mitullah, published in “Non-Motorized Transport Integration into Urban Transport Planning in Africa” (http://bit.ly/2jdFEDP ). This book chapter examines the political economy that affects urban walking and cycling policy.

 

Transportation for Everyone: A New Accessibility Rating System” (http://bit.ly/2AMVqPY ). This Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Blog by Todd Litman describes how to determine whether a transportation system is multimodal and so can serve diverse users, including people who cannot, should not or prefer not to drive.

 

Determining Optimal Urban Expansion, Population and Vehicle Density, and Housing Types for Rapidly Growing Cities” (www.vtpi.org/WCTR_OC.pdf ), published in ‘Transportation Research Procedia.‘ This study by Todd Litman examines the economic, social and environmental impacts of various urban development factors including urban expansion, population and vehicle density, housing type, roadway design and management, and recreation facility availability. The results are used to create guidelines for urban development that optimizes for various planning objectives including openspace (farmland and habitat) preservation, efficient public infrastructure and services, public health and safety, efficient transportation, affordability, economic productivity and opportunity, and urban livability (local environmental quality). This analysis indicates that to be efficient and equitable, cities should provide diverse housing and transport options which respond to consumer demands, particularly affordable housing in accessible, multimodal neighborhoods, and affordable travel modes, with pricing or roadway management that favor resource-efficient modes, plus convenient access to parks and recreational facilities.

 

How to Do Efficient Congestion Pricing (Or Thoughts on William Vickrey)” (http://bit.ly/2ASLp4d ). This ‘Market Urbanism Website’ posting is based on a summary by Todd Litman (http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm ) of Nobel Prizewinning economist William Vickrey’s recommendations for efficient road pricing. Without efficient pricing and suitable alternatives, such as high quality public transit traffic congestion is virtually unavoidable. When motorists say “no” to efficient road pricing they are saying “yes” to congestion.

 

The Million-Dollar Neighborhood: Walkable Mixed-Use Neighborhoods Can Help Families Build Wealth” (https://www.cnu.org/publicsquare/2017/08/07/million-dollar-neighborhood ). This article in the Congress of New Urbanism’s ‘Public Square’ magazine summarizes VTPI research on the direct economic benefits to households from living in Smart Growth communities. Since real estate appreciates and vehicles depreciate in value, households can significantly increase their long-term wealth by purchasing a home in a walkable urban neighborhood where they spend less on transportation and investment more in real estate. A typical household can gain a million dollars in additional equity over their working life. It is based on the VTPI report, “Selling Smart Growth” (www.vtpi.org/ssg ).

 

Transportation and the Challenge of Future-Proofing Our Cities” (http://bit.ly/2w6v5JX ). This ‘Governing Magazine’ article mentions the VTPI report, “Autonomous Vehicle Implementation Projections” (www.vtpi.org/avip ).

 

Recent Planetizen Blogs (www.planetizen.com/blog/2394 ):

 

The Many Problems With Autonomous Vehicles” (https://www.planetizen.com/blogs/95445 ). Optimists predict that autonomous vehicles will be a transportation panacea, but there are good reasons to be skeptical. They may create as many problems as they solve.

 

The Future of Mobility in Cities: Multimodal and Integrated” (https://www.planetizen.com/news/2017/10/95204 ). Ten principles developed by international non-governmental organizations are designed to guide urban decision-makers toward the best outcomes for the transition to new mobility options.

 

Responding to Public Transit Criticism” (https://www.planetizen.com/node/94729 ). Critics often use fallacious arguments and inaccurate evidence to attack public transit and Transit Oriented Development. Here are suggestions for responding to their false claims.

 

Let’s be friends. Todd Litman regularly posts on his Facebook page (www.facebook.com/todd.litman ). Befriend him now!

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UPCOMING EVENTS

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TRB Annual Meeting (www.trb.org )

Mind the Gap: Can Inclusive Cities Bridge Social Equity Disparities?” (https://annualmeeting.mytrb.org/Workshop/Details/7790 ), Sunday, 7 January 2018, 1:30 PM-4:30 PM, Convention Center

Todd Litman will discuss qualitative and quantitative measures of transportation equity in this multifaceted workshop. This analysis is important because transport planning decisions often have significant equity impacts.

 

Rethinking Sustainability for Agencies: It Is Much More Than Green Transportation” (https://annualmeeting.mytrb.org/InteractiveProgram/Details/8227 ), Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM, Convention Center, 152A

NCHRP Report 750 noted that transportation agencies are challenged to build consensus around balancing short-term cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability. Todd Litman will participate in this panel discussion of how organizations are making a transition to triple bottom-line sustainability.

 

“Selling Smart Growth” (https://www.nar.realtor ), 9 January, noon-1:00pm, National Association of Realtors Washington DC headquarters.

Households often make trade-offs between housing and transportation costs: they can purchase a cheaper house at the urban fringe where they must spend significantly more on transportation, or pay more for a home in a walkable urban neighborhood with lower transportation costs. In the short-run the costs often seem equal, but motor vehicles rapidly depreciate in value while urban real estate tends to appreciate, so shifting expenditures from transportation to housing tends to generate long-term household wealth. This presentation will discuss ways to measure and communicate the direct economic benefits to households, businesses and local communities that result when households choose Smart Growth, based on the report “Selling Smart Growth” (www.vtpi.org/ssg).

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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT

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Why Transit Oriented Development? Benefits for Everyone!” by Todd Litman, keynote presentation at the Eighth International Symposium on Transportation Demand Management (http://2017tdm.ntu.edu.tw ).

 

What’s So Good About EcoMobility? Understanding Co-Benefits” (http://bit.ly/2xTNpYR ), presented at the 2017 EcoMobility Festival (http://www.ecomobilityfestival.org ). Also see the “Kaohsiung Strategies for the Future of Urban Mobility” (http://bit.ly/2BIW9Qa ), a twelve-step program to creating more inclusive, livable and sustainable communities.

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USEFUL RESOURCES

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Inclusionary Housing Calculator” (http://inclusionaryhousing.org/calculator ) can help evaluate development costs and the impacts that factors such as parking regulations and inclusionary housing policies would have on the profitability of development in a particular situation. For more discussion see: http://bit.ly/2wj6IWl .

 

Urban Amenity and Livability (http://bit.ly/2iNytp9 ), by the Australian Transport and Infrastructure Council (https://atap.gov.au ). The Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines provide guidance for transportation project Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) and appraisal. These now include guidance on how to evaluate the extent to which community design supports quality of life, health and the general well-being of residents. The Guidance describes practical approaches and implementation of these impacts into Cost-Benefit Analysis.

 

It’s Official: Mexico City Eliminates Mandatory Parking Minimums” (http://bit.ly/2ihUmJk ). Mexico City has taken a step that many urbanists advocate: they’ve eliminated parking minimums. “The policy change applies to every land use and throughout the entire city of 8.8 million residents,” Angie Schmitt reports for Streetsblog USA. “The old rules mandated parking even though only about 30 percent of Mexico City residents own cars and the city has a well-developed subway system.” Backers say this change will encourage more development around transit and save money for those renters and home buyers who are not interested in parking.

 

Forbidden City: How Los Angeles Banned Some of its Most Popular Buildings” (http://bit.ly/2f80h2q ). L.A.’s forbidden city consists of the many buildings that we inhabit, use and care about but that are illegal to build today. Some of Los Angeles’ most iconic building types, from the bungalow courts and dingbats common in our residential neighborhoods to Broadway’s ornate theaters and office buildings, share this strange fate of being appreciated, but for all practical purposes, banned.

 

Automobile Dependency as a Barrier to Vision Zero: Evidence from the States in the USA” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2017.07.012 ), by Hamed Ahangari, Carol Atkinson-Palombo and Norman Garrick, in ‘Accident Analysis and Prevention.’ Using sophisticated statistical analysis of U.S. crash rates this study found that the most important factors were Vehicles per Capita and Vehicle Miles Traveled, that state-level traffic fatality rates decline with urban density and walking rates, and there is little evidence that conventional traffic safety strategies, such as graduated driver’s license programs, provide significant safety benefits.

 

New Mobility Playbook” (http://bit.ly/2zLX6pr ), Seattle Department of Transportation.

This guidebook identifies integrated policies and strategies to foster new mobility options while prioritizing safety, equity, affordability, and sustainability.

 

The Not-so-Secret Trick to Cutting Solo Car Commutes: Charge for Parking by the Day” (http://bit.ly/2iLwp0R ), published in the Seattle Times. Charging for parking by the day, not by the month, is one of the most powerful tools that employers have to spur their employees not to drive alone to work.

 

Kicking the Drive-alone Habit has been Key to Seattle’s Economic Boom” (http://bit.ly/2kkFVZ6 ) and “Seattle Businesses Buy into the Vision of a Transit-driven Economy,” (http://bit.ly/2iLE8Mp ). These articles by Ethan Goffman describe the economic efficiency gains provided by Seattle’s multimodal transportation planning.

 

The Relationship Between Pedestrian Connectivity and Economic Productivity in Auckland’s City Centre” (http://bit.ly/2wc0VS1 ). This study for the Auckland Council investigates the contribution that walkability makes toward urban economic productivity by facilitating face-to-face interactions that increase knowledge generation and sharing. It found statistically significant positive associations between pedestrian accessibility and labour productivity, and so concluded that city center walkability improvements support economic development.

 

Commute Mode Diversity and Public Health: A Multivariate Analysis of 148 US Cities” (https://doi.org/10.1080/15568318.2017.1321705 ) by Chad Frederick, William Riggs and John Hans Gilderbloom, published in the ‘International Journal of Sustainable Transportation.’ Analyzing transportation and health indicators in 148 mid-sized U.S. urban areas, this study found significantly better health outcomes where fewer commuters drive alone to work, and that multimodal transportation planning (improving walking, cycling and public transit) can significantly improve public health.

 

America’s Addiction to Automobiles: Why Cities Need to Kick the Habit and How” (http://publisher.abc-clio.com/9781440852817 ), by Professor Chad Frederick. This new book uses detailed quantitative analysis to measure the impacts of motor vehicle travel on urban livability, public health and economic equality, examines ways that public policies contribute to excessive automobile dependency, and describes various policy responses. The book argues that multimodal and auto-dependent cities are categorically different kinds of city, and there are fundamental conflicts between higher rates of automobile travel and healthy community planning objectives.

 

Reducing Speeds for Better Mobility and Quality of Life” (http://bit.ly/2jL75Vd ) by Carlos Felipe Pardo. This lecture discusses the impacts of excessive urban traffic speeds and how speed management can increase efficiency and livability.

 

Problems and Prospects of Curbside Parking in Lahore: Policy Implications for Effective Management” (http://bit.ly/2ns0ELN ). This article by Salman Sabir and Ghulam Abbas Anjum examines why and how to improve curbside parking regulations and public transport to reduce parking problems in Lahore, India.

 

Street Mobility Project” (www.ucl.ac.uk/street-mobility ), includes several reports and a Toolkit for measuring community severance (roads that create barriers to walking and cycling) and improving walking conditions, particularly for seniors.

 

Cruel Musical Chairs (or, why is the rent so high?)” by the Sightline Institute (http://bit.ly/2nsGAsv ). This fun Sightline Institute video explains how increasing housing supply can increase housing affordability for everyone, including people who cannot afford new homes.

 

Cycling Towards a More Sustainable Transport Future” (http://bit.ly/2vOrWLy ). This editorial by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler published in ‘Transport Reviews’ describes progress in improving cycling conditions and encouraging cycling activity in many cities around the world.

 

“Bus Stop Urban Design” (www.kjzhang.com and http://bit.ly/2AuUP33 ). This information by Kevin Jingyi Zhang aims to improve the waiting environment of bus stops and their adjacent neighbourhoods through the development and application of 9 design techniques.

 

Demystifying Compact Urban Growth: Evidence From 300 Studies From Across the World” (http://bit.ly/2w3mHZa ). This review by Gabriel Ahlfeldt and Elisabetta Pietrostefani for the Coalition for Urban Transitions found significant positive effects of economic density (the number of people living or working in an area) and land use mix and recommend policies that maximize benefits and minimize costs of urban infill, to ensure efficient and equitable access in compact cities.

 

Mapping The Effects Of Parking Minimums” (http://bit.ly/2An6tyZ ). This article by Josh McCarty uses concrete data to illustrate the economic harms caused by parking minimums.

 

Streets Wide Shut – A Principle for Urban Streets” (http://bit.ly/2Bw4c1E ). This article by Professor David Levinson proposes an urban design principle: ‘No street should carry more than four lanes of private vehicle traffic in a city. No more than two of those lanes should go in the same direction. Most streets should be three, two, or one lane wide.’

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Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our email list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.

 

Sincerely,

Todd Litman

email litman (at) vtpi.org

Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)

 

Written by Stephen Rees

December 4, 2017 at 10:33 am

Posted in Transportation

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

with 2 comments

Harbour Progress

I was on a cruise last month. I was using my camera quite a lot – over a thousand pictures in 19 days. And ashore I usually had my phone with me as well – searching for free wifi, cruise ship internet connections being both expensive and unreliable. The ship was docked in Corinto, Nicaragua and I had been ashore exploring the little town, but it was very hot and there was not a lot to see. So I had decided to go back on board, and see what I could find in the buffet. I did not have either phone or camera with me. But I had brought the new Samsung Galaxy Tab E tablet which I was using to read e-books I had downloaded before the cruise. I also made  my own journal entries on it.

When I looked out of the window I saw this oil tanker passing us, and thought I should check out the tablet’s camera. I had seen quite a lot of people using tablets to take pictures – and in my experience with other tablets, that had been a bit awkward, and I was never very happy with the results. In fact I had never used the camera in this tablet. So this was indeed an Experimental picture. I am quite pleased with it, but it is still the only one on the tablet’s SD card.

And that strange UFO looking bright object over the headland is actually a reflection of one of the lights in the buffet. I think the window was pretty grubby too. I did not use any photo editing software in this image but it could certainly be improved by levelling the horizon and removing some of the artifacts, but then that would invalidate the experiment.

Written by Stephen Rees

November 15, 2017 at 10:57 am

Canada Line Criticisms Endorsed

with 2 comments

16609476819_be962d2102_o

I have been reading an article on the Daily Hive by Kenneth Chan this morning that pretty much repeats every one of the criticisms I have levelled over the years at the Canada Line.

POSTSCRIPT I should have noticed this publication date at the top of the article Aug 14, 2014 9:58 am

It was underbuilt, and the P3 cost more than conventional funding. Among the problems that has caused are trains and stations that are too small, too slow and too inconvenient. It has been far more successful than its initial critics claimed, and Chan does come up with some inventive ways of tackling these issues. I think he is very informative on the parochial nature of local politicians and their very limited vision, and how they managed to hobble the project from the start. Sadly too many of them are still warming seats on their respective councils and regional bodies alike.

There needs to be change. Hopefully we can make a start on some of these sooner rather than later as at least we have got a change in provincial government, and realistic probability of federal funding  – which was why the name of the line was chosen in the first place!

 

 

Written by Stephen Rees

October 12, 2017 at 10:45 am

Growing Smarter

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growing-smarter-webThis is the title of a new report. Actually the title is longer than that but I like to be snappy when I can. The publisher adds “Integrating Land Use and Transportation to Reduce GHGs” which you may be sure is right up my alley.

Two things before I go further. This report was published on September 27, and I have only just learned of it. I thought I had spent quite a bit of effort making sure that I kept on top of this topic since it is specifically addressing BC. It was not until today that I saw a tweet from Charlie Smith which linked to an article in the Georgia Straight by Carlito Pablo.

Secondly, the report was commissioned by The Real Estate Foundation of BC. Now my association with Real Estate in BC had lead me to create a mental link between realtors and the BC Liberals. During the campaign against the expansion of Highway #1 there were credible sources saying that the then Minister of Transport, Kevin Falcon, was holding fundraising breakfasts for the realtors in this region and the Fraser Valley and promising that highway expansion would enable them to continue to build and sell single family homes. As opposed to the denser forms of development that tended to support transit. The implication being that RS1 supports right wing voters.

The other important thing to note is that you do not have to rely on my opinion or that of Carlito Pablo. You can download the full report for yourself from the link above.

But I am going to copy here the list of recommendations

Recommendations include:

  1. Bolster regional government authority and integrate transportation planning with land use in ways that support climate action.
  2. Strengthen the Agricultural Land Commission’s authority to protect farmland and limit non-agricultural use of protected land.
  3. Strengthen coordination amongst key agencies, ministries, and orders of government and support collaboration through the Climate Action Secretariat and the Local-Provincial Green Communities Committee.
  4. Use market-based tools to more fairly share the costs of transportation infrastructure and expand transportation choice.
  5. Update tax and fee structures to support sustainable financing of civic infrastructure.
  6. Help establish a Low Carbon Innovation Centre in the Lower Mainland.
  7. Create long-term transportation financing agreements between local, provincial, and federal governments.
  8. Update community GHG reduction target requirements and provide provincial support to help meet these requirements.
  9. Establish GHG impact assessment standards for local and provincial transportation projects and planning agendas.
  10. Reinvest in BC’s Community Energy and Emissions Inventory (CEEI) system to provide defensible transportation sector data.

The report was commissioned by the Real Estate Foundation of BC as part of its research on sustainable built environments in British Columbia. The report was prepared by Boston Consulting, in consultation with the Smart Growth Task Force, with contributions from MODUS Planning, Design and Engage

This all looks very promising, and I am going to download it myself before I type anything else.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

New BC Bus Pass for PWD

InclusionBC just tweeted a link to a BC Government Fact Sheet – which is a pdf document. I decided to cut and paste the text of that here. Comments have been closed.

The Annual BC Bus Pass Program and the new Transportation Supplement for People on Disability Assistance

Beginning January 1, 2018, people receiving disability assistance, with the Person’s with Disabilities (PWD) designation, will get an extra $52 each month for a new transportation supplement.

The supplement creates fairness and will help people connect with their community, giving them freedom to work, shop, and participate in social activities.

How to use the Transportation Supplement for an annual bus pass:

 If someone with a disability who is on assistance would like an annual bus pass they can contact the Ministry of Social Development at 1-866-866-0800 or visit the BC Bus Pass Program website.

 If someone already has an annual BC Bus Pass and they want to keep it, they can. They don’t have to contact the ministry. Beginning with the January 2018 payment they will no longer have $52 deducted from their support payment.

 The BC Bus Pass can still be used in both TransLink and BC Transit areas.

How to use the Transportation Supplement for other transportation needs:

 If someone does not want or need a bus pass they can use the supplement to pay for other transportation costs (for example, HandyDART or a taxi).

 They don’t have to contact the ministry the $52 Transportation Supplement will be automatically added to the January 2018 payment.

More information about the supplement:

 As people’s needs may change over time the new supplement will provide flexibility. People can apply for the BC Bus Pass at any time during the year. They can also cancel their bus pass at any time and use their supplement for other transportation needs.

Why government made this change:

 Transportation is important to everyone on disability assistance.

 Government consulted with stakeholders and asked for their advice on the best approach to improve the system of transportation supports.

For more information:

Go to: www.buspass.gov.bc.ca or call: 1-866-866-0800

Written by Stephen Rees

October 3, 2017 at 10:23 am

Posted in Transportation

Jagmeet Singh on Transit

with 4 comments

I am not a member of the NDP and haven’t really been following their leadership race, but congratulations to Jagmeet Singh for securing the leadership. He says (on his blog)

a Jagmeet Singh-led government will:

Adopt a National Public Transit Strategy: Canada is still the only country in the G8 without a national transit program and people across Canada are looking for more affordable, reliable, and accessible public transit options. Congestion in our urban centres is hurting both our economy and our environment. A Jagmeet Singh-led government will implement a National Public Transit Strategy that will provide the long term and predictable funding for public transit that cities and communities across the country are seeking.

This appears under the “Carbon Emission Reduction” section. Good.

Now perhaps some of the dippers who read this blog can explain to me how a leader can impose his will on the rest of the party. I come from a UK Labour Party background where policy commitments of this kind have to be endorsed by the annual Party conference (convention in North American parlance). While a leader can espouse a policy, it is the membership at large which determines policy. And if you have a taste for such things try a search for “Clause Four” to see where that leads to.

I am, as I said, heartened by this commitment. But to what extent is this reflective of what the party rank and file actually want? Aren’t the big supporters of the NDP the union members in the car industry?  Isn’t that where most of the big bucks come from in the national party? 

The last bit has been deleted in response to a comment.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

How many people move per hour …

with 2 comments

This graphic was posted to twitter this morning by Brent Toderian. It comes from Dale Bracewell the Manager of Transportation Planning at the City of Vancouver.

Screen Shot 2017-09-29 at 9.11.46 AM

Most people still think that widening streets and adding lanes for more cars will somehow help congestion. In fact that simply induces more traffic and makes matters worse. If more people chose to use bikes and walking for short trips – which are in fact the majority of trips in the city – there would be less traffic. What we need to concentrate on is the number of people being moved, not the number of vehicles. Using  cars with a capacity of five or more people to move just one or two people is clearly a waste of space – not just the 3 metre lane width on streets but the parking spaces needed to accommodate cars when they are not being used – which is most of the time. There are far better uses for urban land than storing vehicles.

Clearly even if we cannot afford lots more skytrain lines, we could be moving lots more people if we had bus lanes in the City of Vancouver. There are not many at present, and most are peak hour, peak direction. The City cannot do very much by itself to increase transit supply but it could do a great deal to make the bus network much better. Exclusive bus only lanes and traffic light priority would straightforward to implement – but the noisy pro-car lobby would have to overridden.

Written by Stephen Rees

September 29, 2017 at 9:37 am

Posted in Transportation