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.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

When you calculate net-energy/EROEI, is this included?

Decades after pipeline spill, contamination could remain: "Despite Canadian oil transport giant Enbridge's assertions that it had cleaned up all but one of the five barrels of oil they said leaked from a pipeline in the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula around 1980, contaminated soil and groundwater persisted at the site for more than three decades."

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Montreal this morning

Montreal Gazette : "The Greater Montreal area will receive $775 million in federal funding to improve public transit infrastructure over the next three years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in Montreal Wednesday morning."

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Canadian Pacific Railway CEO: People Need To Realize That Fossil Fuels Are "Probably Dead"

CleanTechnica : "The CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway, one of the largest railways on the continent, was recently quoted as saying that people need to begin realizing and accepting that fossil fuels are “probably dead” — owing to a changing climate and the environmental hurdles that are likely to be introduced in coming years to large-scale use of fossil fuels."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Study finds link between obesity and neighbourhood walkability

Ottawa Citizen: "A new study shows that people who live in neighbourhoods where they can walk to grocery stores, schools and shops are less likely to be overweight or obese than those who live in places where the car is king."

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lack of public transportation to N.B. tourist sites frustrates travellers "Bruens plans to travel around by bus, train or rideshare, a program that lets travellers connect online to share rides between cities, because he doesn’t have a car.

But in New Brunswick, Bruens has found it hard to see tourist hot spots like Hopewell Rocks."

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kamloops city council discussing #freetransit

Kamloops - CBC News: "The weekly meeting of Kamloops city council was put off yesterday.

Instead councillors held an all-day workshop on a range of issues.

Everything from the cost of riding the bus... to environmental sustainability."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Canada’s Own Oil Pipeline Problem

WSJ: "TACHE RESERVE, British Columbia—A proposed 730-mile pipeline to ship Canadian oil to a West Coast port brings with it the promise of 4,000 or more jobs along a route that would run through impoverished indigenous communities.

But Chief Justa Monk, who runs a reserve with an unemployment rate that hits 70%, wants none of them—and pledges to block the pipeline alongside the reserve’s territory."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Anti-Oil Activists Named as National Security Threats Respond to Leaked RCMP Report

VICE : "As the Harper government's Bill C-51 moves to extend anti-terrorism legislation to include anyone who interferes with the "critical infrastructure," "territorial integrity," or "economic and financial stability of Canada," a leaked report from the RCMP's Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team demonstrates how aboriginals and environmentalists are already being targeted by law enforcement for these reasons."

'via Blog this'

Friday, January 23, 2015

Seniors ride free in Laval - overall ridership up 28% in five years

newswire : ""These numbers elegantly demonstrate the importance of implementing fares such as Horizon 65+" added David De Cotis, President of the STL's Board of Directors. The fact is, our population is ageing. Travelling for free and being able to go anywhere at any time with no constraints is what the people of Laval want and it's what we are offering with Horizon 65+. By giving them the means to be more mobile and autonomous, we are also ensuring equality between individuals and generations. Laval understands that adapting public transportation to match this new demographic reality is essential. ""

Monday, December 15, 2014

Opinion: Ste-Catherine St. should become car-free

Montreal Gazette: "There simply isn’t capacity to accommodate private cars and still create a healthy street environment that attracts people and businesses. None of the options currently under consideration tackle the reallocation of space needed for Ste-Catherine to be the business and people magnet it could be.

The question is, what sort of city do we want Montreal to be? If we keep the city centre hospitable to cars, deterioration becomes inevitable as it cannot compete with suburbs for vehicle access. Montrealers need to decide which way their city is to move toward."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

La gratuité du transport en commun revendiquée haut et fort au Québec "Le Collectif Subvercité a relancé cet automne sa campagne RTC gratuit. Levée de fonds, manifestation populaire, participation décalée à la Semaine des transports actifs et collectifs, les membres du collectif ont mis les bouchées doubles pour mettre la gratuité du transport en commun dans la ville de Québec à l’ordre du jour."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Transports en commun gratuits?

Le Devoir: "Malgré la bonne volonté des petits gestes que nous pouvons faire chaque jour pour améliorer l’environnement, il faudra bien que de grands gestes soient aussi faits pour que l’on puisse constater un tant soit peu des changements vérifiables et concluants pour vivre dans un monde moins pollué."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

La gratuité du transport en commun: une utopie?

Droit de parole: "Utopiste cette revendication? Pas tant que ça. Selon Subvercité : « la gratuité du transport en commun progresse sur la Rive-Sud de Montréal. Après Chambly, Richelieu et Carignan, qui ont ouvert la voie il y a deux ans, suivis par Sainte-Julie au début de l’année, c’est maintenant au tour de Candiac, La Prairie et Saint-Philippe d’offrir le transport en commun gratuit pour les trajets locaux sur leur territoire. »
Le transport en commun gratuit pour tous diminuerait la quantité de voitures en ville et la pollution, améliorant la qualité de l’air : « C’est une politique qui commence à faire son nid en Europe et en Amérique et qui permettrait de doubler la part du transport en commun d’ici 2023, l’un des objectifs du Plan de mobilité durable adopté par la Ville de Québec », affirme Catherine Lefrançois, porte-parole de la manifestation."