Thursday, August 3, 2017

Writer calls for #freetransit in Montréal, suggests how to implement

Cult MTL: "Offering free public transit on special occasions is a great first step, but the city needs to go much farther. Ideally, all public transit should be accessible. The simplest way to do that is to make it free to all at all times, but I recognize that progressive ideas are often implemented progressively, so let’s start with a few baby steps:

• Issue free transit passes to social assistance recipients. Public transit is unaffordable on a welfare income, and lack of mobility makes it harder for the poor to find work or to shop outside their communities. Free transit could help offset the problem of “food deserts,” the lack of decent local grocery stores common in poorer districts. This is a huge gesture that will cost virtually nothing.

• Offer free transit days on a more regular basis. Start with free weekends during the summer months to encourage public participation in all the festivals we’re already subsidizing.

• Keep the metro running all night on New Year’s and Nuit Blanche, but make it and the night buses free to encourage even more people to leave their cars at home (or to turn down lifts from friends who are driving drunk)."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#Climate hammers Quebec with floods, but #freetransit is "too expensive."

Montreal Gazette: "“We’ve known for 20 or 25 years that this was happening,” he told The Gazette. “What (scientists) got wrong was how fast. Twenty-five years ago we thought these things would start happening in 2040 or 2050. Very few scientists thought it would be happening so quickly. So what science is telling us is that the climate is much more sensitive to temperature increases than it was believed just two decades ago, 15 years ago, even 10 years ago.

“The number of natural catastrophes from forest fires to droughts have basically increased by a factor of four since the 1970s. So we can’t say that the (specific) flooding events we’re seeing is a result of climate change, but we can say that because of climate change these types of episodes and catastrophes are becoming more and more frequent.”

....He said people in Quebec should focus on what they can do in their personal lives to reduce fossil fuel use, particularly when it comes to transportation. But more important is letting elected officials know that reversing climate change should be a priority on the municipal, provincial and federal levels."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Transit cops or free transit? : "If fare disputes is the leading reason for verbal and physical violence against operators and fare collectors, then we need to look seriously at eliminating fares from transit services. Not looking at this option is simply irresponsible. Can we provide the service free at the point of use and fund it like other free public services through progressive taxation? This question is not even being asked but now is the time to raise it."

Friday, April 14, 2017

Laval, Quebec seniors to ride buses fare-free

The Laval News: "“Taking into account that active mobility and mass transit are priorities for Laval residents, the sums announced by the Finance Minister over five years to improve the service offer, including an increase in the frequency of buses, is good news,” the mayor added.

“It will be interesting to see how the new aid package from Quebec for longstanding senior citizen owners is implemented,” he continued. “This type of program, combined with Laval’s measures, including a subsidy for at-home seniors 65 years of age and older and the free public transit for seniors, contributes to the legitimate recognition that we all owe them.”"

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Carbon Footprint of Canada's Oil Sands Is Larger Than Thought

InsideClimate News : "Tar sands crude carried by Line 67 would have a carbon footprint of 632 kilograms per barrel, the GREET model estimated. That compares to an average U.S. refinery mix of 521 kilograms per barrel of carbon dioxide emissions. The difference is 111 kilograms per barrel—21 percent dirtier, not 17 percent."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Canada still going wrong direction with "green" PM

InsideClimate News: "The country, which continues to expand oil and gas production in Alberta's oil sands despite its stated ambitions to curtail emissions, will make little to no progress towards ambitious emissions reductions targets pledged in December 2015 under the Paris agreement. That's the conclusion of a report published earlier this month by Environment and Climate Change, a federal agency tasked with reducing Canada's greenhouse gas emissions."

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Expanding Tar Sands Will Kill Paris Targets and Climate Stability

The Tyee: "“There is no scenario in which tar sands production increases and the world achieves the Paris goals,” says the report."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to get government subsidy, make a mess, take the profit, let taxpayer clean it up.

Contaminated mine 'an embarrassment to Canada', says Yukon judge - North - CBC News: ""This case stands as a painful reminder of the lasting and egregious damage that unscrupulous and unchecked profiteering can bring about in the mining sector. It is an embarrassment to Canada, Yukon and the responsible mining community," Veale's decision reads.

"It is my opinion that an account of BYG's historical activity in the Yukon should be brought to the attention of the federal and territorial taxpayers, who remain fiscally responsible for remediation efforts.""

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Same old lies from new Canada PM - #climate

National Observer: "Canada has increased its emissions in each of the last five years. In fact our climate pollution has gotten so bad that we no longer bother talking about our upcoming 2020 international climate commitment. Remember that? The U.S. is pushing to meet their identical 2020 commitment. Europe already has. But in Canada we gave up trying long ago.

Our previous Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, promised he had a plan to meet our 2020 climate commitment. But his under-weight climate policies got wiped out by his higher-priority push to keep expanding Canada's carbon-extraction industries.

Now our new Prime Minister is following the same pattern."

Sunday, November 20, 2016

City hall to examine free evening transit service

Saskatoon StarPhoenix: "City of Saskatoon staff intend to look at the idea as a way to get more people used to taking the bus. The proposal came from Saskatoon astronomer Stan Shadick in a letter to city hall that was reviewed at Monday’s meeting of city council’s transportation committee.

“Buses seem to run mainly empty at these times,” Shadick wrote. The transit lobby group Bus Riders of Saskatoon sent a representative, Cameron McMillan, to voice support for the idea. Coun. Darren Hill asked McMillan whether he was aware of any municipalities that have gone down this route, but McMillan said no.

“I’m all about creating new riders and new rider groups,” Hill said. The committee voted to pass the suggestion on to city hall staff for a look."

Monday, July 25, 2016

Saskatchewan oil spill - much more than just money lost, but #freetransit "too expensive"

CBC News: "The city of Prince Albert, Sask., activated its emergency operations centre on Saturday afternoon to put together a contingency plan after noting that a boom set up to contain an oil spill upstream on the North Saskatchewan River had been breached.

A pipeline break, reported by Husky Energy on Thursday, resulted in an estimated 200,000 to 250,000 litres of oil reaching the North Saskatchewan, entering the water near Maidstone, Sask.

Booms had been initially setup in that area to try to contain the spill."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The City Of Montreal Is Planning On Making The STM Free For Everyone

MTL Blog: "But if that’s the case, then why not just bite the bullet and make public transport free all the time? Think about how many cars would be left at home.

Plus, this could ONLY work if it were a year round plan. Because no one in their right mind is going to wake up in the morning and check for smog alerts to find out whether they should be taking the bus or their car to work. People just don’t operate that way, we are creatures of habit."

Friday, May 27, 2016

Public transit should be free

The Coast: "Just like public health care and public schools, I believe that free transit is a public good because we would live in a better world if everyone was healthy, educated and able to get around.

We collectively fund public health care because we see it as an important public good, but we fail to provide the means for low-income people to be able to afford to take the bus to the doctor. Many minimum-wage workers scrape together $78 every month to be able to afford to take transit to work. Meanwhile, most income assistance recipients looking to re-enter the workforce are denied funding for transit to get out and find a job or go back to school.

I believe that, as a society, it is our collective responsibility to provide people with the means to realize their full potential. So that’s why I think it’s time for our city to step up to the plate and provide free transit for all residents of Halifax.

In fact, we already have free transit. The recent implementation of the Halifax Harbour bridge shuttle, in response to the Macdonald Bridge closures, has been providing free transit across the harbour for thousands of pedestrians and cyclists. Seniors ride for free on Tuesdays, university students ride for a reduced rate throughout the school year with a U-pass, and everyone rode for free in March 2012 after the Halifax transit strike.

What’s more, the city of Halifax can afford to provide free public transit. Eliminating bus fares from all transit would only cost $35 million dollars, or just three percent of the total operating budget. This amount pales in comparison to the $55-million price tag that the city has already committed to the new convention centre.

Put in this light, the question of free public transit becomes not about finances, but about political will. Do we fund development that lines the pockets of big developers, or we do promote economic policies that puts money directly back in the hands of working people?

Free transit is a form of economic stimulus because it puts money directly back into the local economy. Low-income and working people have unmet financial needs, and that $78 a month which would have otherwise been spent on transit will instead be spent on food, rent, utilities and other basic necessities of life.

Imagine how great it would be if the ferry was free. Free public transit across the harbour would mean that more summertime tourists would visit downtown Dartmouth, and that suburban commuters would have free and environmentally sustainable transportation to work every day. Free transit would mean that unemployed people will be able to go out and look for work and that people with disabilities will be able to more actively take part in social and economic life.

The Canadians cities of St. Joseph-du-Lac, Winnipeg and Calgary all already have some form of free transit, and Moncton is currently looking at implementing a similar policy. Now it’s our turn.

Free transit is good for working people and free transit is good for Halifax."

'via Blog this'

Friday, May 13, 2016

Riders upset with Transit Windsor fare hike

Windsor Star : "Transit Windsor is increasing fares for the first time in more than two years, but even a small hike will sting those who use the service the most — seniors and students."

Costs go up, so fares must go up. Translation... we are spending millions on automobile infrastructure, but you people insist on using buses. We fix that. We will raise fares.